Ramesh Patel, who runs a polymers manufacturing business in Rakanpur, Santej, lodged an FIR with the Gandhinagar range cyber police alleging he was robbed of Rs 9.72 lakh in a sim swapping fraud.
Patel, a resident of Kalhar Exotica on Science City Road in Sola, abruptly lost network coverage on his phone on August 6. He tried restoring it by restarting the phone twice but failed. An email sent to the telecom service provider through a staffer did not yield a reply.
Patel, who then called up the provider’s customer care service, was informed that someone had obtained a new sim card on his number on August 5, due to which the card he was using had been deactivated. Patel informed the customer care representative that he had not requested a new sim and asked for it to be deactivated. He even visited the service provider’s outlet on August 8, 2022 and had the new sim deactivated. When Patel’s original sim was reactivated on August 9, he started receiving messages from his bank showing that Rs 9.72 lakh had been debited from his company’s account through five different transactions. The fraudsters had also changed the account’s net banking password.
Using the duplicate sim, the cybercriminals gained access to the account and were able receive one-time passwords and other alerts required to perform financial transactions.
Cybercriminals get personal information of a potential target through phishing, vishing or smishing and use it to trick telecom companies into issuing duplicate sim cards, mostly by claiming they had lost the phone or damaged the sim card. Once the duplicate sim starts to function, the original gets blocked.
A complaint of cheating by impersonation along with charges under the Information Technology Act has been filed.