- A suspected case of SIM card swapping led to the fraud
- The businessman says he received six missed calls before the fraud
- A case has been registered with the cybercrime wing
A suspected case of SIM card swapping has led to a Mumbai-based textile businessman losing Rs 1.86 crore from his bank account. A case has been registered with the cybercrime wing of the Mumbai Police.
The businessman, whose identity is not being revealed, says he received six missed calls on his mobile phone between 11.44 pm and 1.58 am on December 27-28, after which the fraud took place. Cyber experts call it the "SIM swap", in which criminals gain access to the data and use the OTP that is required to transfer funds. SIM swap is a relatively new and technologically advanced form of fraud that allows hackers to gain access to bank account details, credit card numbers, and other personal data.
The businessman says he became suspicious when he noticed six missed calls on his phone. Two were from the UK. When he realized his phone had stopped working, he approached the service provider who informed him that the SIM card had been blocked on his request the previous night. "I was informed that I had put in a request to block my SIM around 11.15 pm on December 27. I disputed that as I had not put in any request to block the SIM card. After this, the service provider issued a new SIM card which was activated on the evening of December 29," the businessman said.
There were 28 transactions from his account, he said, but he was not notified as his SIM card had been blocked by those behind the fraud.
The businessman says he realised that he had been robbed when one of his employees approached the bank for a fund transfer and was told that the account was overdrawn. The businessman said, "On checking the accounts we found that there were 28 transactions transferring money to almost 15 different accounts. None of these transactions were initiated by us and the money wasn't transferred to accounts we transfer funds regularly to."
Deputy Commissioner of Police Akbar Pathan told reporters, "We have received a complaint that around ₹ 1.86 crore has been transferred from his current account. The criminals had his bank credentials and phone number. We want to tell people that if your phone is blocked without consent, please get it reactivated immediately and inform the police if you notice fraudulent transactions."