Greek Cops Probing SIM Swap Card Bank Draining Scheme


(Photo by Eurokinissi, file)

ATHENS – Greek electronic crime inspectors arrested nine people authorities said defrauded people and stole money from their bank accounts by using swapped SIM cards for cell phones.

One of the victims, from Thiva, told the newspaper Kathimerini that 15,000 euros ($17,703.08) was taken from his bank account in March by someone who got his passwords by getting a SIM card for his phone number under false pretenses, with similar cases then showing up in Crete and northern Greece.

Police believe there have been at least 40 such cases in recent months, accounting for around 700,000 euros ($826,143.50) of stolen funds the paper's report also added.

Officers at the Dionysos police station in northern Athens pushed the investigation after 125,000 euros ($147,525.63) was taken from the account of a resident there while another case popped up in Mytilene on the island of Lesbos.

The phone companies who handed out the replacement cards weren't identified nor was it said if there were any safeguards to prevent anyone from asking for another card if they know a person's cell phone number.