SIMbox Bribery: The Answer

As promised during my interview of a former SIMbox fraudster, here is the answer to the question,

How much, per month, do you think a SIMboxer would be willing to offer as a bribe to each member of your fraud prevention team?

Thanks to everyone who responded – it’s not a controlled study but I thought it provided a useful test of opinion.  The 20 responses are summarised below:

SIMbox bribe responses

The mean value of the responses received was USD 1,575 and, as you can see, only one respondent thought that USD 250 per month would buy their fraud staff.

So, what’s the correct answer?  Well, as usual, it’s not that simple, but if you want a simple answer then Dan, the retired fraudster, was paying fraud team members USD 1,000 per month.  However, if that was your guess, don’t congratulate yourself just yet.  Dan also said he was prepared to pay up to 40% of his profit to ensure he kept his SIMs operating unmolested.

As stated previously, Dan’s business model led him to work on termination where the rate was 12 cents or more and this provided him a net profit of USD 1-4,000 per day.  That would mean he was prepared to pay the fraud team between USD 12,000 and USD 48,000 per month.  I’m guessing that’s more than you’re paying them, so that’s probably a worry?

I don’t know if Dan’s business methods and profit model are representative, but let’s assume that his minimum 12-cent rate generated USD 1,000 per day and that higher rates generated proportionately higher profits.  It should be possible to use your own termination rate to make an approximate calculation of the money which SIMboxers have available for bribing staff.  Then you need to decide whether your current processes and controls are appropriate to meet that risk.

Or you could ignore it.

David Morrow
David Morrow
Dave has 35 years of law enforcement, investigation and fraud management experience including multiple international assignments. He is a recognised telecoms fraud expert and for a number of years chaired the GSMA workgroup responsible for Security & Fraud Risk Assessments.

Dave now provides fraud management support as an independent consultant.