There is a rampant surge in smartphone-related frauds across the world, and with each passing day, scammers are finding new ways to rob innocent people of their money.
Recently, a Mumbai-based textile businessman ended up losing ₹1.86 crore from his bank account in a suspected case of SIM card swapping.
The victim, who has requested that he remain anonymous, became suspicious when he noticed six missed calls on his phone between 11.44 pm and 1.58 am on December 27-28. Cyber experts believe that it was following this that the fraud took place. Two of the calls were from the UK, and by the next day, his phone stopped working.
When he reached out to his telecom service provider, a representative told him that upon his request the night before, his SIM card had been blocked.
As per a report by NDTV, the businessman said, “I was informed that I had put in a request to block my SIM around 11.15 pm on December 27. I disputed that as I had not put in any request to block the SIM card. After this, the service provider issued a new SIM card which was activated on the evening of December 29.”
About 28 transactions were made from his bank account to almost 15 different accounts, but the businessman was never notified as the fraudsters had already blocked his SIM card.
It was only when one of his employees visited the bank for a fund transfer, and was informed that the account was overdrawn, did the former connect the dots. He has filed a case on the same with the cyber crime wing of Mumbai Police.
This kind of fraud is being dubbed as ‘SIM swap’ by cyber experts and is a relatively new and technologically advanced form of fraud that allows hackers to gain access to the bank account details, credit card numbers, and other personal information of potential victims. The SIM card swapping allows the fraudsters to receive the OTP required to transfer funds, while the victim remains unaware.
So what can you do in such a scenario?
Well, if you find any suspicious activities on your phone or if it is blocked without consent, check with your service provider and get it reactivated immediately. Also, inform the police if you find any fraudulent transactions in your account.
(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)