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Protect Self From Frauds Due To SIM Swapping

13 June 2018


Bhubaneswar: Mobile banking transactions are increasing day-by-day in leaps and bounds. SIM Swap is a kind of scam where a fraudster manages to issue a new SIM card against a particular mobile number through the concerned mobile service providers by deceitful means/impersonation.

This way, he/she can get access to victim’s identity and One Time Password (OTP) alerts required to make money transfers. This Fraud involves a fraudster issuing a duplicate SIM card which is registered under victim’s name.

With a SIM card in the same number, the fraudster can stalk and save victim’s bank related information via mobile banking transactions. Always stay alert and follow these easy tips to stay safe.

How does SIM Swap work?(Possible Ways)

• The fraudster contacts the victim pretending to be his/her mobile service provider or customer care unit or bank and asks for sensitive information like CVV/ATM card number /ATM secret PIN.

Few known illustration of fraud:-

  1. “Hi Sir/Ma am, you have won an exclusive offer reserved for our top customers only. Please share your credit/debit card details so we can transfer the gift money to your bank account.”

  2. “Hi, I m calling from XXXXX. We have launched a KYC drive across India. Doing KYC would mean you can accept up to INR 1 lakh in your e- Wallet. However, I would need some proof of identification and your credit/debit card details.”

  3. “Hi, I m calling from XXXXXXX. We are happy to let you know that you have won an additional Rs. 5000 cashback on your latest purchase. Please share your credit/debit card number so that we can credit the money directly into your bank account.”

  4. “Congratulations! You have been nominated as a „Top XXXXX Merchant in your locality and are now eligible for a Special Booster Pack. This will further upgrade the limits of your e- Wallet. Please share some proof of identification and your credit card details to avail this great offer.”

  5. Hello”! I am from XXXXXX Branch Head. Your account will be deactivated today due to non-linking with the Adhar Card. Please share your Adhar number and bank details for linkage

• He/she then approaches the mobile operator and gets the original SIM blocked with a fake reason like loss or theft. After this, they visit the mobile operator’s retail outlet with fake ID proof, posing as the genuine owner and gets a new SIM issued in the owner’s name. This happens within hours and the real owner often fails to notice his/her SIM card has stopped working.

• The Fraudster generates the One Time Password (OTP) required in financial transactions using the owner’s banking information. Since this OTP is received on the new SIM held by the fraudster, the money can be transferred into his/her account.

• Under the pretext of losing the mobile handset, new handset or damaged SIM card, fraudster approaches mobile service provider by creating a fake identity in the name of genuine customer.

• Consequently, mobile service provider will deactivate old SIM card which is in customers possession and issue a new SIM card to the fraudster. There will be no network on customers handset. Now, customer will not receive any SMS , information such as alerts, OTP, URN etc. on the phone.

• With the banking details stolen through phishing or Trojan/Malware fraudster will access and operate your account and initiate financial transactions which you will not be aware of and all the SMS alerts, payment confirmation etc. will go to the fraudster.

How to protect yourself from SIM SWAP fraud?

• Do not share personal information such as Customer ID, IPIN, Credit/Debit Card number, expiry date and CVV number to anybody including bank persons (on Phone) , customer care of mobile service provider with over e-mail, call or SMS.

• If your mobile number has stopped working for longer than usual, immediately contact your mobile operator to enquire about the reason.

• Regularly check your credit and debit card statements and transaction history for any suspicious event.

• Register your e-mail ID for instant alerts and stay informed about all activities in your bank account.

• Enquire with your mobile operator if you have no network connectivity and you are not receiving any calls or SMS for unusually long periods.

• Do not neglect messages sent from your network provider that highlight a probable SIM-Swap. Remember to respond quickly to such messages.

• Never switch off your smartphone in the event of you receiving numerous unknown calls. It could be a strategy to get you to turn off your phone and prevent you from noticing a tampered network connection. Even if you are frustrated by such events, do not switch off your smartphone.

• Register for instant alerts (both SMS and Emails) that informs you of any activity regarding your bank account.

• Check your bank statements and online banking transaction history regularly so that you can identify any issues or irregularities. Almost all the banks offer mobile applications to their customers which let them pay their bills, recharge their mobiles, book bus tickets etc., also let the user to have a look at the last 5 transactions, on enquiry of the balance etc., Use such mobile banking applications to stay safe as you continue to enjoy the benefits of convenient and secure banking.

• It is advisable not to use “free Wi-Fi” services for banking transactions.

• Unknown Link coming to SMS box or Email which seems to be from a genuineauthorized Service providermay not be opened / clicked.

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