Telecom Commission Letter addressed to the Distribution List

Ottawa, 28 May 2020

Our reference: 8665-C12-202000280


Distribution List

RE: Unauthorized Mobile Telephone Number Transfers and SIM swapping in Canada

Further to Commission staff’s letter of 15 January 2020, regarding unauthorized mobile telephone number transfers (ports) and SIM swapping in Canada, and the subsequent responses of the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association Footnote1 (CWTA), Bell Mobility Inc. (Bell), Bragg Communications Incorporated (carrying on business as Eastlink), Rogers Communications Canada Inc. (Rogers), Saskatchewan Telecommunications (SaskTel), Shaw Telecom Inc. (Shaw), TbayTel, and TELUS Communications Inc. (TELUS) dated 14 February 2020, Commission staff now requests the following:

  1. Bell, Eastlink, Rogers, SaskTel, Shaw, TbayTel and TELUS, to update your initial respective response to include, by month and separately for each wireless brand operated by your company or affiliates, from August 2019 to May 2020:
    1. the total number of customer transfers (ports);
    2. the number of unauthorized customer transfers, separately for prepaid and postpaid accounts, as well as indicating whether the number of unauthorized transfers attributable to carrier or customer error were excluded;
    3. the total number of SIM swaps; and
    4. the total number of unauthorized SIM swaps.
  2. Videotron Ltd. (Videotron), to provide data showing, by month and separately for each wireless brand operated by your company or affiliates, from August 2019 to May 2020 as requested in 1(a) to (d).
  3. Bell, Eastlink, Rogers, SaskTel, Shaw, TbayTel, TELUS and Videotron (hereafter the “mobile carriers”), to comment on and to explain your respective data including magnitude of the numbers, any significant variations month-over-month, and trends.
  4. Each mobile carrier, to provide details on any company-specific measures or additional steps already implemented or contemplated, not previously described in the above-mentioned CWTA correspondence, to counter unauthorized customer transfers (ports) and SIM-swaps, including applicable timeframes.
  5. Each mobile carrier, to provide the specific information requested from a person asking for a SIM swap, to include how this information is provided (i.e., over the phone, text, email or in person), and whether and how the person’s identity is verified.
  6. Each mobile carrier, to provide details of the customer awareness activities undertaken by your company with respect to unauthorized customer transfers (ports) and SIM swapping, including applicable timeframes and your assessment of whether these measures have had a positive impact countering the prevalence of unauthorized customer transfers and SIM swapping. Footnote2
  7. Each mobile carrier, to provide a list of any one-time or recurring charges for services provided to customers related to unauthorized customer transfers (ports) or SIM swapping, as well as a description of the limitations/restrictions on these services including whether the services are offered only to victimized customers or to any customer.
  8. For customer transfers (ports) between mobile carriers, each mobile carrier to provide:
    1. what information is required from the customer, separately, for a new postpaid account and for a new prepaid account, and how long this information is retained for each type of account;
    2. what information is provided by the new service carrier to the old service carrier; and
    3. what measures is the old service carrier taking to verify that it is, in fact, the “legitimate” customer requesting the transfer.
  9. Specific instances of Canadians having been victimized were the subject of recent news articles. Each mobile carrier to describe the steps taken to respond to both fraudulent actions that occurred and fraudulent actions that were prevented, including but not limited to reporting to law enforcement and providing reimbursement, credit or other assistance to victimized consumers. Footnote3
  10. Each mobile carrier to provide the process used to advise customers when an unauthorized customer transfer (ports) or SIM swap has been prevented and what protection measure or information is provided or made available to these customers to protect their account in the future.
  11. CWTA, referring to paragraph 41 of your 14 February 2020 response in which you identified an interim measure that was taken, to provide additional details on the interim measure in question including how and when customers are made aware, as well as the information provided to the customer, whether a charge is applied, and whether the interim measure is intended as a short-term measure and the possibility of extending this interim measure indefinitely.
  12. CWTA and each mobile carrier, to provide a description of discussions held or plans developed with other organizations, such as financial institutions and social media and others, to address the issue of fraudulent activity involving unauthorized customer transfers (ports) and SIM swapping in Canada.
  13. CWTA, referring to paragraphs 46 to 55 of your 14 February 2020 letter where you discussed an enhanced wireless number portability process, to provide an update on the implementation of such enhanced process and an updated timeframe for each wireless service provider to implement it.
  14. CWTA and each mobile carrier, to comment on any impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the industry’s implementation of measures to counter unauthorized customer transfers (ports) and SIM swapping as described in the CWTA’s 14 February 2020 letter or in response to this letter.

This information is requested to be filed with Commission staff by 16 June 2020. To the extent that information is submitted in confidence pursuant to section 39 of the Telecommunications Act, an abridged version of all submissions must be provided for the public record.


Original signed by

Michel Murray
Director, Dispute Resolution & Regulatory Implementation
Telecommunications Sector

c.c.:  CRTC registered Wireless Carriers
Ursula Grant, CWTA,
John Lawford, PIAC,

Attach (1) Distribution List

Distribution List

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