SIM swap is a type of phishing fraud that poses a serious threat to the customer and bank security. The fraudster obtains an individual’s banking details through phishing techniques or by purchasing these from organised crime networks. They then use this information, including personal details sourced via social media, to pose as the victim to the mobile network operator and fool them into cancelling and reactivating the victim’s mobile number to a SIM in their possession. As a result, all calls and texts to the victim’s number are routed to the fraudster’s phone, including one-time passwords for banking transactions. After receiving a one-time pin or password from a bank, the fraudster can then potentially access the customer’s bank account and transfer funds
Steps reproduce by SCAMSTER
- You will get a call from a person who will pose as an executive from Any company. He/she can also promise to help you get more mobile data or increase mobile internet speeds or simply can ‘guide’ you to migrate to a 4G SIM card.
- The scam caller will try all means to get your unique 20-digit SIM number. Every SIM card has this 20-digit number. Look for it at the back of your SIM card.
- After convincing you to send the unique SIM number, the scamster will tell you to press 1 or simply authenticate the SIM swap. The process over here is that the scamster after obtaining the unique SIM number will initiate the ‘Swap’ with your telecom operator officially
- Once the swap is successful, your SIM card will stop working and you will not get any signal on your phone. On the other hand, the scamsters new SIM card will get full signal with your mobile number. It is basically a two-step process. And sadly, SIM Swap is the part two of the fraud process. The scamsters, in most cases, already has information about your banking ID and password. All they need is the OTP that you get on your registered mobile number to make financial transactions.
- Just imagine the possibilities of fraud if the scamsters have got access to your phone number as well as Aadhar number. These days most services can be accessed using both these together and once your Aadhar number and phone number is available, it can lead to serious identity theft.
- In most cases, once the scamster has successfully imitated a SIM Swap, he or she will disturb you so that you get angry and switch off or silence your phone. This is crucial to buy time for scamsters. Usually, telecom operators take around four hours to activate a new SIM.
- Sadly, senior citizens who are less digitally literate are the prime targets of these type of scams. It is important to advise them regularly and inform them to strictly not entertain unknown callers.
- It is always a healthy habit to keep track of your bank account and balance. Also, keep changing your internet banking password so that you it gets difficult for miscreants. Also, if you notice any suspicious internet banking activity report to your bank immediately to stop the transaction.
- Enquire with your mobile operator if you have no network connectivity and are not receiving any calls or alerts for unusually long periods
- Do not disclose your mobile number on social media platforms. Contact your mobile operator immediately as soon as you receive an indication of a probable SIM-Swap
- Do not switch off your cell phone in the event you receive numerous unknown calls. It could be a ploy to get you to turn off your phone and prevent you from noticing a tampered network connection
- Register for both SMS as well as e-mail alerts to stay informed about transactions on your account
- Check your bank statements and online banking transaction history regularly so you can identify any issues or irregularities
- Never ever share your Aadhar number on the phone