By Joseph Cox
August 12, 2020
The unsolicited call came from France. Or at least that’s what my phone said. When I picked up, a man asked if I worked with the National Crime Agency, the UK’s version of the FBI. When I explained, no, as a journalist I don’t give information to the police, he said why he had contacted me.
“There are these special SIM cards out there,” he said, referring to the small piece of hardware that slips inside a cell phone. “I’m actually ringing from one now,” he added, before later explaining he runs an underground site that sells these cards.
This SIM card, the caller said, allowed him to spoof any phone number he wanted. Want to look like you’re calling from a bank in order to scam a target? Easy. Want to change it to a random series of digits so that the recipient’s phone won’t record your real number? That just takes a few seconds to set up, according to tutorials of how to use the cards available online.
“Contacting Server,” the message on a Nokia handset read. Moments later, they received a call from 07777 777777; an obviously spoofed number.
Russian SIMs. Encrypted SIMs. White SIMs