Beware! What is SIM swap fraud? Read this to save money and avoid falling into traps of fraudsters

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Published: July 5, 2018 10:35:40 PM

SIM swap fraud is a new kind of fraud that is running around in the market and a lot of people have fallen prey to it. Recently, a man was duped of Rs 13 lakh by a gang of fraudsters in Nirman Vihar.

SIM swap fraud is a new kind of fraud that is running around in the market and a lot of people have fallen prey to it (Reuters).

SIM swap fraud is a new kind of fraud that is running around in the market and a lot of people have fallen prey to it. Recently, a man was duped of Rs 13 lakh by a gang of fraudsters in Nirman Vihar. But what exactly is SIM swap fraud and how it happens? As we all know, a SIM card helps a mobile phone stay connected to the world.

The SIM card stores some crucial user data that can be used for cell phone subscription. When attackers try a SIM swap, they actually try to gain access to the target’s phone communications. Following this, they use the cellular company’s representative to get a SIM card issued for a false account.

In the process, attackers try their best to acquire as much personal information about the target as possible. The attackers even go to the level of impersonating the target’s credit cards and phishing emails.

How does it work?

Step 1: Firstly, the attacker secures an individuals banking account details and registered mobile number via phishing or via Trojans/Malware.

Step 2: The attackers then apply for a duplicate SIM under the victim’s name, under the pretext of losing the mobile phone, and will fake the individual’s identity.

Step 3: Once the verification is done, the mobile service provider deactivates the old SIM card (the one you have) and issues a new SIM card (the one the attacker gets). Soon, the individual will no longer have any network on your phone. As a result, s/he won’t be able to receive any SMS, or an alert—OTP, URN etc. So, the person won’t even realise that you’re in deep trouble.

Step 4: Since the attacker already has all your banking details stolen through phishing or Trojan/Malware, it’s easy for them to access and operate your account and initiate financial transactions. The worst part is that you won’t even be aware of all this happening as all new OTPs, etc. will go to the attacker, not you.

Signs of SIM Swap Fraud:

The SIM Swap Fraud is quite difficult. However, some banks have successfully installed a protective layer to protect their customer from such fraud. Some of the protective measures include sending alert messages and additional checks for SIM reissuing and usage of IMS. If the IMSI number does not match the individual’s SIM card number, then the attacker is in trouble.

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