Beware: The Modern-Day Forgery Called SIM Cloning Can Leave You Bankrupt
Banking at the touch of a smartphone surely seemed to be a blessing; with almost everything depending on the Registered Mobile Number which also acted as an identity proof. But lately, this ease in banking procedures has turned to be an ease in thefts too.
What really happened?
A resident of Mumbai, a 72-year-old woman, received an SMS from her bank that 11 lakhs had been withdrawn from her bank account. Unable to put a finger on the reason for the withdrawal, she demanded a clear picture of what had happened and was astonished to know that the money withdrawn from her account had been the work of con men who had used the money to book flight tickets.
How is it done?
The theft was committed through “SIM-cloning”. Her sim had been “cloned”. SIM-cloning is a type of Cyber Crime in which the fraudsters duplicate your sim either through specialised software which contains a SIM reader, which copies all the information of a SIM card onto another. This is put to effect when you receive calls or SMSs from these fraudsters, and in a matter of minutes, your SIM has been cloned. The cloned SIM card is then used to make calls to your bank or reset your bank account details using text message verification, and money from your account can be withdrawn.
How to protect yourself from it?
Check your mobile bill frequently. In the case of any unknown numbers dialed from your phone, which you do not recognize, contact your bank immediately. If you suspect any fishy activity, then change your phone number in your bank account details. It could also be safe to use another phone number for your banking needs. Installing anti-virus software, creating complicated passwords, hiding your mobile number on social media, will all prove instrumental in avoiding such thefts. In some cases, it is also advised to avoid taking calls which begin with +92, +90, and +09.