The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) warned SIM card swapping as a rising scam, that can put one’s individual identification and bank balance at threat. Recently, there have been several reports showing how SIM swapping have pulled out lakhs and crores from individual accounts. SIM swapping tool, being an effective and easy tool, is gaining popularity among cybercriminals.

In this latest fraud technique, a cybercriminal obtains a duplicate SIM of an individual. In order to get a SIM duplicated, the criminal needs to get hold of an individual’s personal data like email ID, full name, phone number, and others, which they get hold of through regular phishing techniques.

Once a cyberpunk gets hold of a duplicated SIM, they simply call the operator and impersonate the targeted person over phone, internet or by walking into a physical store. All the OTPs and verification links are directed to the hacker through which they can take out huge amount without the targeted person’s knowledge.

Here are a few tips you can keep a check on in order to protect yourself from such malicious behaviour:
  • Keep an eye out for your cell tower: The easiest way to know if your identification got hacked through SIM card, is to see if you catch cell signals or not. If there’s no signal on your phone, or texts/calls aren’t going through, then that might be a case of fraud through SIM swapping. As and when this happens, try contacting customer care, bank, and other authorities.
  • Always be careful with personal data: It can never be stressed enough that personal data are most easy ways for any kind of scam, and the cyberpunks are always in a look out to steal an individual’s personal information through several high-end techniques. Whenever landing on a website, be careful with HTTPS://, as these are verified sites. Other than this, text messages, mails and forwarding messages are capable of sending personal data to hackers in a tap.
  • Usual phishing techniques: Even if you are familiar with the regular senders popping in your inbox, always check for emails and texts that have spelling mistakes, unidentified link/site names, attachments, and more importantly, the domain name. A slight negligence can cost you a bigger trap.

The latest case of SIM card swap fraud was reported from West Bengal, where a class XII drop out from West Bengal was arrested after he, along with few others, scammed a businessman and transferred ₹1.7 crore to various accounts in a night.