Mobile company loses ‘millions’ in call fraud
Feb 13, 2011 | 00:00 Updated: Feb 14, 2012 | 12:28
By Mohammad Ghazal
AMMAN – A local mobile operator has lost JD5 million as a result of “SIM box” fraud, the Public Security Department (PSD) announced on Saturday.
Several Jordanians were arrested last week and a search is under way for additional suspects who are believed to have been involved in the fraudulent usage of mobile SIM cards, a PSD source told The Jordan Times Saturday.
SIM box fraud occurs when individuals or organisations purchase SIM cards that offer free or low cost calls with the intent of using them for international calls.
Using various devices, the SIM cards are then used to channel national or international calls away from mobile network operators and register them as local calls on their networks, costing operators significant losses in international phone call revenues, according to Revector, a UK-based anti-fraud company.
The PSD source said one of the company’s agents sold around 18,000 low-cost SIM cards to an accomplice who then installed the cards on devices to make and sell international calls.
“The people involved in the fraud include engineers who used advanced equipment that relied on the Internet and satellite connections. They operated international call offices, charging their customers the price of international calls while paying the price of local calls,” said the PSD source.
According to a report by Revector published on its website, mobile networks worldwide lose some $150 million annually in revenues from “SIM box” fraud.