SIM SWAPPING fraud, What is it? and how we can be safe from it? These type of frauds are spreading much rapidly and we are not able to cope with it. These frauds are done so smartly that the victim don’t even know that they have been cheated. It takes much time to identify that we are cheated and often we don’t even know how to overcome it.
Recently, V.Shah, a Mumbai based businessman became the victim of SIM Swapping fraud and loses Rs.1.86 crores. The businessman had received six missed calls between 11 pm and 2 am, from two numbers, including one showing the United Kingdom dialing code (+44). However, his phone was in silent mode in the night and the calls went unnoticed. When he tried to call these numbers back in the morning, he found his SIM was deactivated. Upon inquiring, the mobile service provider informed Shah that his SIM card was blocked upon his own request. He smelt trouble as he had made no such request.
When he visited his bank branch, he came to know that Rs 1.86 crore was siphoned out of his company’s account. The money was reportedly transferred to 14 accounts through 28 transactions across the country. Upon trying, the bank was able to retrieve Rs 20 lakh of the total sum, but the rest was gone.
“My company’s bank account is linked to my mobile phone, but never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that the cheats will empty my account with such ease,” Shah told Mumbai Mirror.
An FIR was filed in the BKC Cyber Crime Police Station. “We suspect the scamsters had access to Shah’s unique SIM number and had initiated a SIM swap. To ensure he doesn’t suspect anything, they called him late in the night when his phone was on silent mode,” a police officer told the paper.
To initiate SIM swapping the fraudsters uses uniqie 20-digit number of SIM card. Look for it at the back of your SIM card. In a fraud case, either the scamster will try to convince you share your 20-digit unique number or they have already hacked it to get it.
If you think that only digitally-illiterate people fall prey to this scam, you got it wrong. Several tech-savvy urban youths too have ended up falling for this cyber fraud. “Even when you open a fake version of your bank website, your details are automatically compromised. Your data is accessed by fraudsters every time you access unsecured web connections.
Protective measures to be safe
- Keep track of your bank account and balance regularly.
- Keep changing your PIN and Password of all banking apps and internet banking.
- If you find any suspicious activity with your bank account then contact the bank immediately.
- Never share the 20-digit unique number of SIM card to anyone and never let anyone see that.
- If your got to know that your SIM card is deactivated then call the bank to stop all banking transactions immediately or block it by using respective bank’s official app.
- Always use official apps of the Bank.
- Don’t use unsecured web connections.