What is SIM Swap Fraud? How to stay safe

SIM Swap Fraud is a relatively new, sophisticated form of cyber fraud that allows hackers to gain access to bank accounts, credit card numbers and other personal data. SIM Swap cases were reported in the US and Europe in 2013 and are now trending 

What is SIM Swap Fraud? How to stay safe
in India. People have lost more than Rs 200 crore in these SIM Swap Scam.

We tell you how to do SIM Swap Fraud and what you can do to protect yourself from it.

What is SIM Swap Fraud?

Nowadays, most banking services are available on mobile phones. Online transactions require One Time Password (OTP), Unique Registration Number (URN), 3D Secure Code etc. which is given through the registered phone number of all users.

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SIM Swap Fraudsters send phishing mail to credit card companies / health insurers to obtain legal names, dates of birth, addresses, and phone numbers of their targets. They also collect personal data of users through social media platforms or Trojans / malware.

How is SIM Swap Fraud?

Subsequently, they will call the victim's mobile service provider and claim that they have lost the mobile handset or obtained a new handset or a damaged SIM card. Using the victim's personal data, the fraudsters manage to obtain a new SIM card issued for the user's registered mobile number. Once the new SIM card is released, the mobile service providers deactivate the old SIM card, which is in the possession of customers in the case of SIM Swap Fraud. Now, the victim will not receive any SMS on their phone.

Once criminals have access to the victim's phone number, they target bank accounts. For most online banking services like password reset, online money transfer (NEFT, RTGS etc.), you require one time password (OTP). Since they have access to the victim mobile number, they can easily use URN / OTP and alerts to conduct financial transactions through a bank account.

How to stay safe from SIM Swap Fraud?

1. The first warning signal may be your mobile network. If your phone is out of the network continuously for a few hours, it is an alert and you should immediately report it to your mobile operator.

2. Beware of social engineering strategy (vishing, phishing, smishing) that aims to steal your confidential and personal data.

3. To avoid worst case scenario, change your bank account password immediately.

4. Check your bank account details regularly and register for both email and SMS alerts for your banking transactions. (This way, even if your SIM is de-activated, you will continue to receive alerts through your email)

5. The 20 digit SIM number mentioned on the back of the SIM card is important. Never share it with anyone.

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6. In case of SIM Swap Fraud, block your account and contact Phone Banking immediately to avoid further Fraud.

7. Do not put your mobile number on public display on social media or any other websites.

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