All banks have sent an urgent e-mail to their clients alerting them about a new SIM card swap fraud that has been detected of late as many have already fallen victim to the new tactic.
Warning thier customers, HDFC Bank, among others, has sent such message that says “Under SIM Swap fraud, fraudsters manage to get a new SIM card issued against your registered mobile number through the mobile service provider. With the help of this new SIM card, they get One Time Password (OTP) and alerts, required for making financial transactions through your bank account,” it explained to its customers.
Essentially, the modus operandi of fraudsters gather a customer’s personal information through phishing, vishing, smishing or any other means and then approach a mobile operator with an application to get he SIM blocked under some excuse.
Once the SIM is blocked, they approach any neighbourhood mobile operator’s retail shop that provides services. Neither the telecom service operator (TSP) nor the real SIM owner would be in know-how about what is going on behind them.
The gather some evience like fake ID proof and posing as the consumer, they visit the nearby TSP retail shop and seek activation. When the retail operator of the telecom provider gives the fraudster the original SIM, the real owner may not be aware of it even. So, all the mobile operations will now be done via the new SIM which is genuine according the TSP or telecom provider.
Once the messages are directed to new SIM, fraudster set up on a course to access bank information, requires fraud transaction and steal banking information.
The bank has advised its customers to protect from the new SIM fraud. “If your mobile no. has stopped working for a longer than usual period, enquire with your mobile operator to make sure you haven’t fallen victim to the Scam,” it said.
In addition, bank customers should register for SMS and Email Alerts to keep a tab on what is happening to their accounts. “Regularly check your bank statements and transaction history for any irregularities,” said the bank in its advisory.
Earlier, many gangsters and others were found using pre-activated SIM cards but this is entirely a new wave sim card fraud that has come to the notice of the authorities and banks, which use mobile phones for all types of verification.