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Mumbai: 27-year-old woman loses Rs 1 lakh to SIM swap fraud

According to the police, she was a victim of a “SIM swap” fraud, a particular type of vishing fraud that has been on the rise in recent weeks.

Written by Mohamed Thaver | Mumbai |
June 27, 2018 3:55:56 am
Mumbai: 27-year-old woman loses Rs 1 lakh to SIM swap fraud No arrest has been made in the case so far, said police

A 27-YEAR-OLD Powai-based woman lost Rs 1 lakh after she allegedly received a call ostensibly from her mobile service provider asking her to forward a text message to a mobile number. According to the police, she was a victim of a “SIM swap” fraud, a particular type of vishing fraud that has been on the rise in recent weeks.

The woman, Himani Bahuguna, approached the Powai police where an FIR was registered on Sunday. No arrest has been made in the case so far, said police. An officer said that the incident took place around 10 am on April 27, when Bahuguna, who works for a shipping company, received a call on her mobile phone from a person who claimed to be calling on behalf of her service provider.

As she had not linked her Aadhaar with the phone number, the tele-fraudster allegedly told her to forward a text message he sent to her to 121, to avoid deactivation of her SIM.

In her statement to the police, the woman said that she was in a hurry and did not think twice before forwarding the message sent by the fraudster to the number. The next day, when the woman tried to log on to her internet banking account, it would not allow her to do so. Later, she checked her e-mail and found that a ‘beneficiary account’ holder had been added to her account, following which money was transferred to that account. Having not made the transfer or added a beneficiary, the woman rushed to the bank and got her debit card blocked, an officer said.
At the bank, the woman was informed that there had been three transactions on her bank account in the past 24 hours. “While one transaction worth Rs 20,000 was carried out through a bank in UP, two other transactions totally worth Rs 80,000 were carried out through a bank in West Bengal. She had of course not used her card,” the officer said. Later, on realising that someone had used her details to illegally carry out the transactions, she approached the Powai police station, where a case of cheating against unidentified persons was registered. Senior inspector of Powai police station Anil Pophale said, “So far, no arrests have been made in the case.”

An officer investigating the case said that in most of such cases, the accused already have access to bank data. “The text message that the victims unknowingly send to the service provider disable their SIM cards. The accused then use the details to make fraudulent transactions without the victims knowing about it,” the officer added.

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