Mobile number porting fraud is new and uncommon in New Zealand, but when it does happen it can have devastating consequences. We've been working with our industry group, the Telecommunications Forum (TCF) to develop measures that prevent a scam known as 'number porting fraud'. Learn what we are doing to protect your information.
Mobile number porting fraud happens when a fraudster ports a customer's phone number to their own SIM card. They do this so they can receive text messages intended for the customer. In some circumstances, this can allow the fraudster to authorise bank transactions if the customer is using text message based two-factor authentication (2FA) to protect their bank account. We recommend customers setup up 2FA on their bank account, using app-based 2FA rather than text message.
Currently, anyone porting a number will receive a mobile port informational text message from 2542. This message informs them that a port has been requested, and what to do if they did not request the port. The text message is provided below:
"We're processing a request to move your mobile number to another provider. If you DID NOT request this, please contact your mobile provider and bank IMMEDIATELY as an unauthorised mobile transfer may leave you vulnerable to serious fraud. Do not reply to this text."
From August 2021 additional protections are being gradually rolled out. Customers will need to confirm that their mobile port order is valid. The text message will be sent from 2542 and you will need to reply “Yes” or “Y” within two hours of receiving the message for the port to proceed. The text message is provided below:
"ACTION REQUIRED: We have received a request to move your mobile [Numberxxx] to another provider. To proceed reply YES to this message within 2 hours. If you didn't request the move then reply NO, or ignore this message and it will be cancelled. From NZ Telecommunications Forum (TCF)"
If you do not respond within two hours the port will be cancelled. You can also reply “No” or “N” to cancel the port. You will then receive a text message to confirm your response.
Here are some tips you can follow to help keep yourself safe:
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