In a Major SIM Swap Cyber Attack Rs 1.86 Crore Syphoned Off
On December 27-28, a businessman from Mahim, Mumbai, on his mobile phone got 6 missed calls from the United Kingdom. The last call came at about 2 o'clock in the night. The next day, when he woke up, he found that his SIM was not working. He doubted that something was wrong. When he contacted his mobile service provider, it was learnt that a new SIM was activated by deactivating the SIM inserted in his phone. He rushed to his bank. He got shocked of his life on learning from the bank that a sum of Rs 1.86 Crores were transferred to 14 different accounts. in the night itself, it has been transferred from his company account, which was linked to his mobile, transferred to 1.86 crores to 14 accounts. The bank also understood that their client was hit by online fraud, but by then only Rs 20 lakhs were left in those accounts could be retrieved. In BKC's Cyber Crime Cell, the case is now registered in sections 439, 420 and 34 of IPC and Section 43 and 66 D of the Information Technology Act. Investigations have revealed that this is the case of SIM swap fraud. It takes about 3-4 hours to complete the request of SIM change/swap. In the intervening period, the fraudsters repeatedly made calls to make the victim feel that his phone is working properly. Finally, when the call is received by the gang member, it gets confirmed Victim's SIM is now active with them. Hectic activities get launched to transfer money to money mule accounts. Money-mules are also activated, who further transfer money to fraudster account. The recovered Rs.20 lakhs, in fact, are just the commissions of these money-mules. The real fraudster is enjoying without any fear of getting caught. Please see the picture of this post for SIM Swap Fraud.
Money mules are those stupid people who want to be rich without any efforts. The real fraudster often enters these foolish people by misleading them that one of their clients is not able to transfer money to his international account. Therefore, if they transfer the money to a foreign account, they can deduct 10% as their commission. The Police has no choice but arrest these money mules, who become the victim of their own greed and unwittingly become the conduit for the organised cybercrime. To reach the real fraudsters, the Government of India should sign the Convention of Cyber Crime (Budapest Convention). When India becomes part of this convention and if the fraudster belongs to these 52 countries, then there exist a real possibility to arrest them. At present, it is next to impossible.