Internet banking fraud involving cellphone-sim swaps - and aided and abetted by agents of the big cellphone networks - appears to be on the rise. But the networks deny liability, arguing that it takes more than a fraudulent sim swap for criminals to access someone's internet banking profile. To be able to run this complicated scam, fraudsters first need a consumer's bank-account number and passwords, obtained by conning the consumer out of them (phishing), or from an agent at the bank - although this has never been proved. The criminals also need the victim's cellphone number, which they get from phishing or from accomplices in the banks who are easily able to access clients' personal details on their systems. With their confederates at the communications companies, fraudsters get a new sim card for the victim's cellphone and the old card is deleted from the network. And here timing is crucial: an automatic SMS is sent to the real owner about the swap. If the victim is asleep or fly...

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