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Saudi prank calls on rise due to illegal SIM cards

Illegal sale of SIM cards is rampant with street vendors selling chips for as low as SR20

Street vendors sell SIM cards for anything between SR20 to SR300.
Street vendors sell SIM cards for anything between SR20 to SR300.

The number of people receiving prank phone calls has surged in Saudi Arabia due to the illegal sale of SIM cards to third parties.

“We receive lots of complaints on a daily basis. People report prank calls and that they are harassed by people ringing from unrecognised numbers,” an official of the Saudi Telecom Company told Arab News.“The owners of illegal SIM cards want to stay undiscovered and so buy prepaid SIM cards that have been registered on other people’s names. This allows them to remain free and untracked,” he said.

According to the report the illegal sale of SIM cards is widespread in Jeddah. Street vendors sell the chips for anything between SR20 to SR300.


Phone companies said the owners of illegal SIM cards risk having them cancelled with no recourse.