New ‘SIM Card Cloning’ Scam In Town – How to be Careful

A 72-year-old senior citizen was bewildered when she got SMSs that around Rs 11 lakhs had been withdrawn from her bank. A Mumbai resident and a former US consulate employee got the shock of her life when she found that con men had found out her credit card details and booked flight tickets worth 11 lakhs through her bank money! Check out the scam that affected many so far, and you might be next.

How did this happen?

Well, the fraudsters first cloned her SIM card and then telephoned her bank for credit card details by pretending to be her. Once they got the details, the job was done.

But how can a SIM card be cloned?

SIM card cloning is a new kind of cyber crime that could leave you bankrupt. Hackers could find all your personal details and launder all your money.

Specialised software and a SIM card reader can copy all the information of a SIM card on another, blank one. It can also be done by sending over-the-air (OTA) commands to it through protected SMSes. Only professional hackers can clone a SIM by using high tech software.

How to find out whether a SIM card has been cloned?

Check your mobile bill. If you find a series of unknown numbers dialled from your phones then there’s something really fishy. Also, someone trying to reach you and getting a busy tone, even when you’re not on the phone, could be a sign that your SIM card getting cloned.

How should we prevent our SIM cards from getting cloned?

Be very careful about whom you give your phone to. If you want to give your phone for mobile servicing, then make sure you give it to only authorised servicing centres and take out the SIM cards before submitting your phone.

Do not pick up calls from numbers that flash ‘Unknown Number’ on your screen. Also avoid taking calls which begin with +92, +90 or +09.

In case you pick up such calls, and if the person on the other end asks you to dial a number, hang up immediately, because this can be the hackers trying to copy your contact details.

Try keeping a second number, that you don’t share with anybody, for bank work.


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3 Comments

  1. Verizon Fraud Victim on

    Add that to the article about credit card, debit card scammers.
    If you missed it, basically, use credit at the pump instead of debit
    and if the cashier anywhere happens to be “dropping a lot of people’s cards today”
    perhaps they are swiping on something hidden under the counter before actually running it for payment.

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