Hyderabad: Five arrested for SIM swap fraud

Five arrested for SIM swap fraud
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Five arrested for SIM swap fraud

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The Cybercrime wing of the Cyberabad Police on Thursday arrested five members of the notorious Gang of Mira Road on charges of a SIM swap fraud

Hyderabad: The Cybercrime wing of the Cyberabad Police on Thursday arrested five members of the notorious Gang of Mira Road on charges of a SIM swap fraud. The accused were identified as Chandrakant Siddhanth Kamble, Zameer Ahmed, Adil Hassan, Junaid Ahmed and Ashwin Narayana while the leader of the gang James, a Nigerian national and Shoaib Sheikh are absconding.

SIM swap means mean simply changing mobile SIM cards through fraudulent means. New SIM cards are obtained against the existing registered mobile numbers. Thus, they can get access to One Time Password (OTP) and other alerts and siphon money from the bank accounts of orginal SIM holders.

According to Cyberabad Police Commissioner VC Sajjanar, they received a complaint from a victim who said he had taken a new SIM card but could make only outgoing calls. He contacted the service provider's customer care and complained, and they resolved the issue.

Later, he tried to login into his internet banking account, and got to know that someone had changed his credentials. He also found that his account was emptied. On visiting the bank, he found some unknown persons made three Immediate Payment Service (IMPS) transactions and siphoned off Rs4.25 lakh from his account by swapping his SIM card without his knowledge. Another complainant lost Rs6.75 lakh in similar fashion.

Police said James hacked net banking credentials of targets through phishing mails in the name of IT returns. He then hired blockers (who take new replaced SIM cards for blocked SIM cards) from West Bengal and Maharashtra and who also collected replaced SIM cards of mobile numbers registered with bank accounts of his targets. Using OTPs received on the mobile number, he transferred funds to bank accounts provided by blockers. He later collected the cheated amount through bitcoins or hawala.

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