What is Sim swap? As the name suggests means swapping of data from one sim to another. But was it introduced for this fraud and what does it actually mean?… Today at THE TECHNO DRIFT, we are going to make you understand the details of this fraud so that you can save yourselves and others from this fraud or scam or whatever you may like to call it. Let’s know What Is Sim Swap Fraud?
Earlier in August 2019, Twitter co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey were in the news for becoming a victim of a SIM swap fraud. For Dorsey, the issue was resolved quickly without any financial damage, but when it comes to ordinary persons who are not so famous like Dorsey, the damage is difficult to control and it may take time to recover the stolen money. This fraud has already started attacking Indian citizens. For instance, in June last year, a senior citizen reported losing ₹25 lakh from his bank account by a SIM swap fraud. But at THE TECHNO DRIFT, we believe in “prevention is better than cure” so read on.
What is Sim Swap?
When there are situations like your sim card isn’t working properly or it is destroyed then there is the need to get your SIM swapped. In this case, you will need to call the service provider for another SIM with the same number. Once you have requested for it, the service provider will deactivate your old SIM and activate the new SIM in some hours. Then the new SIM will have all the data stored in the old sim.
Was Sim Swap introduced for this fraud?
Obviously not. It was introduced so that customers can get their sim changed without changing their number. But today it is being used by modern cybercriminals as a method to steal money from the user’s bank account.
How Sim Swap fraud works? Sim Swap fraud explained.
At first, the fraudster calls the victim and by assuring him that he has called from his service provider the fraudster asks to confirm a few important details. The victim then gets an SMS or email with some kind of Trojan or malware to gather victim’s information. Once the fraudsters have the victim’s data, they approach the victim’s service provider, posing as the victim’s, along with some fake documents, and fills in the SIM swap request. On verification, the company deactivates the old SIM and issues a new SIM to the fraudster. The new SIM gets activated within a few hours and in the meantime, the victim’s SIM will show no signal or network. Since the deactivation usually happens at night, the victim won’t be alerted on the mobile phone having no network. Once the SIM is swapped and the fraudster is in possession of the new SIM card, he will have access to the victim’s phone number and will be able to operate his bank account or operate his social media accounts as most users set their phone numbers as a password recovery method. The fraudster can access all the accounts of the victim since all future OTP’s will come to the new sim card which is obtained by the fraudster.
How to avoid being a victim of Sim swap fraud? How to prevent Sim Swap fraud? How to be safe from Sim Swap fraud?
- Reveal your personal information where needed. Don’t sign up or keep on creating accounts on untrusted websites and apps.
- In case you don’t have a network on your phone get in touch with your service provider. Most carriers send text alerts before a sim swap, treat this as urgent.
- Avoid making your phone number public on social media sites.
- Sign up for bank alerts messages for any transactions happening in your bank account.
- Avoid calls claiming to be your trusted bank or service provider asking for personal information.
- The 20 digits SIM number mentioned on the back of the SIM card is very crucial. Avoid sharing it.
- Don’t use your phone number as account recovery or password recovery methods. Use Google Authenticator or Microsoft Authenticator apps for 2-step verification.
What to do after sim swapped?
If your SIM is swapped, you should take these steps immediately to minimize the effect of the attack.
1. File identity theft report with your local police immediately.
2. Alert your banks and other financial institutes about the attack and freeze all your accounts until the situation is resolved.
3. Call your mobile service provider and let them know about the fraud.
4. Make sure to change the email ID, password, and recovery method of all the accounts associated with that number.
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