SIM Swapping Scam: Beware Or Your Money Might Be Stolen From Your Bank Account

Harin - Dec 12, 2018


SIM Swapping Scam: Beware Or Your Money Might Be Stolen From Your Bank Account

Another citizen living in Noida had his money (Rs 6.8 lakh) taken from his State Bank of India account through SIM swapping scam. Here is everything you need to know about this whole fraud.

Another citizen living in Noida had his money (Rs 6.8 lakh) taken from his State Bank of India account. The transaction was done using UPI banking. This has raised worry among citizens in India. Surprisingly, in a complaint sent to the police, the victim claimed that he doesn’t even have a smartphone. The total amount of Rs 6.8 was sent from his savings account at SBI via the UBI app by hackers over the last two months. Not until recently, the man wanted to withdraw some money, visited an ATM that he discovered the scam. He was then informed by the SBI Sector 2 Noida branch that in two months, seven transactions were made, all by UPI banking. How were the hackers able to make transactions via UPI banking when the victim doesn’t even have a smartphone? Cyber police define this as a situation of mobile SIM swapping scam. Here is everything you need to know about this fraud.

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It is compulsory for every bank account to have a mobile number registered. While the victim doesn’t have a smartphone, he must have registered some other phone number with his bank.

There are some UBI apps which require mobile phones but in reality, UPI just needs a mobile number that has been registered with the bank to function. To gain access to a UPI profile, just punch *99# on any device. So if the victim had registered a mobile number, it is possible that it has been misused.

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SIM swap is registering another SIM card with your mobile number. After that, your SIM card is invalid and your device won’t receive any signal. Now, once the fraudster has your number, they will then receive OTPs on their SIM. With OTPs being sent to their phones, it is for them to make transactions and do some online shopping.

You will receive a call from an impostor who acts as an executive working for Jio or Vodafone or Airtel or Idea. This impostor will tell you that it’s just a call for call drop or signal reception improvement. He/she will also give you promises to get you more mobile data or improve your internet speed.

The fraudster will try every method to get his hand on your 20-digit SIM number that comes with every SIM card.

After succeeding in convincing you to send him the 20-digit SIM number, you will then be asked to press 1 or to verify the SIM swap. If you own a Vodafone SIM card, the fraudster will swap it with another Vodafone SIM. Vodafone will send you a confirmation via SMS. That’s why the fraudster wants you to press 1 to officially authenticate the SIM swapping process. After this process is done, your phone number has already been hijacked. Your SIM card won’t work and there won’t be any signal on your mobile phone. Meanwhile, the new SIM card of the fraudster, with your phone number, will receive a full signal.

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This is actually a process with two steps. The SIM swapping is sadly the second step, which means the fraudster already got your banking ID with its password. To make transactions, he only needs the OTP. If you accidentally open a fake banking website, most likely your details have been compromised through this.

Most services can be done with these one’s mobile and Aadhaar number. Imagine the terrible scenarios if the fraudster can access both of these numbers.

After the successful SIM swap, the fraudsters will keep on disturbing you until you switch off your phone. This is crucial for scamsters, in order to buy time. It usually takes four hours for telecom operators to activate a new SIM card.

Remember when you change from a 2G to a 3G, then to a 4G SIM card or when you upgrade your traditional SIM card with a Nano one? This is actually the same SIM swap method that the fraudster uses, register a new SIM card with the already existing number.

SIM Swap is one powerful tool and it can undoubtedly be exploited by fraudsters. If you are not careful and send the 20-digit SIM number to somebody else, he might process the SIM swapping process, which might lead to you losing money from your bank account.

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