SIM Swap Fraud is a kind of scam where a fraudster manages to issue a new SIM card against your mobile number through your mobile service provider. This way, he/she can get access to your identity and One Time Password (OTP) alerts required to make money transfers.
How does SIM Swap work?
Step 1: The fraudster contacts the victim pretending to be his/her network provider or bank and asks for sensitive information. To know more about how criminals pull this off, click here.
Step 2: 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.
Step 3: 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.
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 among others with unauthorized personnel 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 behavior.
- Register your e-mail ID for instant alerts and stay informed about all activities in your bank account.