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Sim cards Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: The Telecommunications and Regulatory Authority (TRA) in the UAE has issued a cautionary message to Filipinos about the dangers of purchasing SIM cards from unofficial retailers.

In its public service announcement, the TRA warned against any random purchase of mobile SIM cards to ensure there is no potential fraud.

The TRA recommended all customers to purchase SIM cards from authorized Point of Sale terminals, operated by registered du or Etisalat outlets, in order to prevent any possible fraud.

Residents were also advised to watch out for the SIM Swap Scam which, according to the web blog LifeHacker, is when a hacker steals your phone number and associates it with their SIM card.

“The easiest way to tell you’ve been targeted by a SIM Swap is when you see strange behavior from your phone, like an inability to send or receive texts and calls despite not having service shut off; receiving notifications from your provider that your phone number or SIM card has been activated elsewhere; or being unable to login into any of your important accounts.”

In a SIM swap scam, the hackers obtain personal and banking details from the victim's registered mobile number through phishing.

The scammer then approaches the victim's mobile operator with fake ID to obtain a duplicate SIM card.

The mobile operator deactivates the original SIM card and issues a new one to the attacker.

The hackers can then gain access to the victim's account and carry out bank transactions using the stolen banking information.