What is SIM Swap Fraud and How do you stay safe

Mobile numbers are linked to almost everything now. Driving License, Aadhar, Digital Accounts, and even Bank Accounts. Its the most convenient way to communicate as they are always in the consumer’s hand, and they can react to any message that is sent across. However, this also means that fraud can happen easily when one number is linked to everything. This is the reason why the Banking system has created multiple security parameters like OTP, 3D verification, etc to make sure it’s not easy if not impossible. Today, we are talking about one such fraud – SIM Swap Fraud and how do you stay safe from it.

What is SIM Swap Fraud

SIM Swap Fraud and How do you stay safe

One of the major problems with a number connected to an account is that if somebody gets hold of your number, and with basic knowledge, about you, which is easily available in social media, he can get access to your bank account or online transactions It can be easily done by a family member, a friend and even those whom you don’t know.

Under Swim Swap Fraud, the fraudsters can manage to get a new SIM card issued against your registered mobile number, and then use OTP from your bank account to get access.

How fraudsters get access to your SIM

Fraudsters gather your personal information through Phishing, Vishing, Smishing or any other means. This is the most important thing, and this is the reason why you should not have your signature, bank account details, and even share a xerox copy with someone.

Once they have all basic details, they can call the mobile operator, and get your SIM blocked. They will use the home address, date of birth, and other details required by the company.

Post this, they can visit a mobile operator’s retail shop with the fake ID proof posing as the customer. They will even have an authorization letter to get a new genuine SIM card.

Once the SIM is activated, they can get OTP for Debit and Credit Card transactions, and you will not even know until you have more way of getting notified.

While the process sounds easy, it’s not going to very easy. Someone has to have a complete data of you including Card numbers, CVV, address, birthdate and so on. However, if somebody is keen to get all the details about you, it is not impossible.

How do you prevent a SIM Swap fraud

  • Take quick action if you see your phone number out of service for a long time, and has unusually stopped working.
  • Do not share your Phone No, 20 digits SIM number, IMEI number anywhere
  • Register for instant bank alert with your bank over email id as well.
  • Do not respond to unknown emails or calls asking for your account details or mobile number.
  • It’s a good idea to block spammers using apps like TrueCallers.
  • When traveling abroad, make sure to enable the basic services like SMS and Calls. In case the bank wants to get in touch with you, it will be worth the cost.

What should you do in case of SIM Swap fraud

First, call your bank and block your debit and credit card transactions in case you have identified a fraud transaction Second, call your operator, and file a proper complaint.  You need to visit them with original ID card and address proof to make your case.

It is a good idea to safeguard your account, mobile number through various ways. What is more important is awareness of where, and how you share your personal information.

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Ashish is a veteran Windows, and Xbox user who excels in writing tips, tricks, and features on it to improve your day to day experience with your devices.