Atul Sehrawat, a resident of Nirman Vihar in Delhi has lost Rs 13 lakh after he was duped by a gang of fraudsters. The gang had their eyes on the huge amount and stole the money by tapping Sehrawat’s 10 minutes telephonic conversation, as reported by India Today. The fraudsters collected all the personal bank information of the victim via phone tapping. A case was registered at the cyber cell unit of the district which has now been transferred to the Economic Offence Wing of Delhi Police.
The India Today report added that Sehrawat was one of the victims of the SIM-swapping gang. The gang has been flushing the cash from various bank accounts in New Delhi. Delhi Police has expressed concern about the nexus between service centres of mobile networks, bank operators and the fraudsters.
An India Today source on the condition of anonymity said that at least two similar complaints are made every day.
Meanwhile, Kislay Chaudhary, Chairman of Indian Cyber Army, an NGO said: “SIM swap fraud is a type of identity theft that exploits the SIM system’s biggest vulnerability. It’s a way in which attackers attempt to gain access to their target’s cell phone communications.”
What was the modus operandi of the gang?
A DCP officer explaining the method said: “The fraudsters turn into tele-callers and introduce themselves as a representative from your bank or telecom service provider. You will be informed that within half an hour, your SIM card will be blocked as the KYC is not updated. After they create a panic situation, they will leave you with only one option, that is, to copypaste a text which they had sent on your mobile number. You will be asked to forward it on the official customer care number. Once you do so, your SIM will be blocked within 15 minutes.”
Senior officials have claimed that the fraudsters with telecom service providers aide managed to get blank SIM cards. Meanwhile, the other gang members identify the person they want to loot and access all his/her personal bank information using the connection with the banks.
Extracting all the information, one of the members will make a call to the target and inform about blocking of the SIM card. Once the target is convinced in sending the SMS which actually carried the 16 digit number of the new SIM card, the original SIM with the victim is deactivated forever. After this, the gang gets access to all the bank account details and OTP and other security passwords. And, in no time, the money is squeezed out from the victim’s account.