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SIM-Swap Scam

SIM-Swap Scam:

A Delhi-based advocate recently became the latest victim of the SIM-Swap Scam after she received three missed calls from unknown numbers and lost money from her bank account.

  • All banking applications are linked to phone numbers, which help in generating OTPs (to authenticate transactions) or receiving important bank-related messages.
  • In the SIM swap scam, fraudsters first take personal details such as phone numbers, bank account details, and addresses with the help of phishing or vishing.
  • After receiving the personal information, fraudsters visit the mobile operator’s retail outlet, posing as the victim with forged ID proof, and report a fake theft of the victim’s SIM card and/or mobile phone.
  • By doing this, they attain a duplicate SIM.
  • Notably, scamsters can get a duplicate SIM even when the original is working, as they reported a theft of the original SIM card.
  • Unlike other scams, where scamsters trick people into giving OTPs and private information on a phone call, the SIM swap scam doesn’t require direct communication with the victims.
  • However, fraudsters do give missed calls to their victims so that the latter leave their phones and ignore the lost network connectivity.
  • When the SIM is swapped, the accused gains control of the entire SIM. All calls and messages go through their SIM only.
  • Once in control of the SIM card, they are able to obtain passwords and OTPs that allow them to access their targets’ bank accounts.