BHUBANESWAR: If you are using a smart phone and your online banking account is linked to it, be alert. You could find name among the hundreds of cellphone users across the country who fall prey to the SIM card swap fraud. While no such cases have come to the fore or registered in the State so far, Odisha Crime Branch has issued an advisory on Wednesday to prevent such incidents.
Pointing out that it is a scam where a fraudster manages to issue a new SIM card against a given mobile number by deceiving telecom operators, Crime Branch officers said the fraudster gets access to victim’s identity and one-time password (OTP), required to make money transfers.
In SIM swapping scams, a fraudster issues a duplicate SIM card which is registered in the victim’s name. With the duplicate SIM, the fraudster can save the victim’s bank related information via mobile banking transactions.
The fraudster then contacts the victim by impersonating as mobile service provider or bank official and asks for sensitive information like, CVV/ATM card numbers, ATM pin and others. The con man then approaches the mobile operator of the victim and gets original SIM blocked by giving a concocted reason, visits the mobile operator’s retail outlet with victim’s fake ID proof and gets a new SIM in the actual owner’s name.
Subsequently, mobile service providers deactivate old SIM card which is in the actual customer’s possession and issue a new SIM card to the fraudster. After a new SIM card is issued on the same number, no network is available in the actual customer’s handset, blocking SMS and other alerts.
“If a customer’s mobile number has stopped working longer than usual, one should immediately contact mobile operators to enquire about the snag. The customer should contact mobile operators if they have no network connectivity and are not receiving any calls or SMS for unusually long intervals,” the Crime Branch circular said.
Besides this, the advisory stressed that the customers should register their e-mail IDs for receiving instant alerts and remaining informed about all the activities of their bank accounts, among others. The officers also suggested people to avoid use of free Wi-Fi services for banking transactions.Though, so far, the scam has not been reported in the State, telecom operators have been sending message alerts to customers to be wary of SIM swapping scams.