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Save Yourself From 5G SIM Fraud! Fake Messages Looting Bank Accounts

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Wondering if there could be a new version of the cyber crimes portrayed in the OTT series Jamtara? Well, the danger is on the doors already. This time it is not about your accounts getting blocked or hitting a lottery. It is about a new 5G fraud scam affecting Indian cities. 

- Updated: 9th Mar 2023, 22:43 IST
  • 1
    How did the 5G SIM fraud begin?
  • 2
    How is the fraud taking place?
  • 3
    Has similar fraud happened in the past?
  • 4
    About the latest 5G SIM fraud and latest advisory
    • Cyber Police in Gurugram, Haryana
    • Cyber Police Department in Hyderabad
  • 5
    Final Words: 5G SIM Fraud

It’s been hardly ten days since the launch of the 5G networks in India that we have started speculating about the arrival of the new technology in our respective cities. However, the 5G SIM fraud has began rapidly too.

Internet is bombarded with the questions of how to buy a 5G SIM, port SIMs, change operators, and whatnot! In this case, cybercriminals have taken the most advantage in the scenario. Yes, the reports are such that the cases of 5G SIM fraud have increased multifold throughout the country.

Here, we discuss how to save yourself from a probable 5G SIM fraud. Additionally, its time to understand the guideline of police departments about cybercrimes and how to deal with them.

Also Read: How To Recover Hacked Facebook Account?

How did the 5G SIM fraud begin?

how did 5G SIM Fraud begin

On October 1, 2022, the Prime Minister of India launched the 5G network. This raised the enthusiasm of people around the country who look forward to entering the new era of telecommunication using new edge technology like 5G. 

Currently, the network operators like Airtel and Jio have launched 5G services in selected cities only. For example, Airtel has launched its services in eight cities only- Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Siliguri, Nagpur and Varanasi. Jio has also started rolling out 5G services in Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, and Varanasi.

Taking advantage of the fact that only selected cities have been targeted currently, cybercriminals have sprung to action. In the latest of all incidence, many residents from these cities have complained about losing out on significant amounts of money from their bank accounts. A few of them have also been left bankrupt.

Also Read: Top 5 Most secure Phones In The World That Can’t Be Hacked!

How is the fraud taking place?

Most complainants have suggested that these loots took place as soon as they clicked a scrupulous link sent as a message. The links were sent on the numbers as a part of the message to upgrade their SIM card to the latest 5G. Some of them also offered lucrative offers and faster connections. When these links were clicked, their bank account details were compromised, and fraudsters withdrew the money from them. 

Besides, some people have complained to the cybercrime departments about anonymous calls. The people called for OTPs (One Time Passwords) regarding SIM switching, offers, and portability. Once they were provided with the details, the bank account got tampered with within seconds.

Also Read: Things You Should Do Before Handing Your Android Phone For Repairs

Has similar fraud happened in the past?

The answer to this is a sad YES!

Similar cases of SIM-related fraud have occurred in the past. Some of them were related to SIM cloning or swapping, where fraudsters accessed the SIM card of the customer through such fraudulent calls and obtained duplicate SIM cards of the contact number related to the bank account. 

Besides, many a time, people fall prey to the fake numbers posted on the Internet for the customer care of a bank. In such a scenario, people were asked for card details, pin and OTPs (One Time Passwords) or to click on the link for verification. Cybercriminals then used these details to extract money from their bank account. 

Social media networks have been compromised by cybercriminals too. Here, they accessed the friend list of the account owner and sent messages to each one demanding money for medical or other purposes. 

In a few big cities where people often resort to online platforms for selling their products, duping of these kinds has become quite common. Imposters often gained trust as sellers and looted the accounts of people interested in their products.

Also Read: Hackers Fooled Apple, Meta, And Other Tech Companies

About the latest 5G SIM fraud and latest advisory

5G SIM fraud- guideline for prevention

Cyber Police in Gurugram, Haryana

It has issued multiple guidelines on account of fraudulent activities occurring as a part of 5G SIM fraud. They have asked people to be wary of people calling them to get SIM upgrades and lucrative offers on 5G SIM. Following are the guidelines offered by the police:

1. Never share OTPs on call to avoid such mishaps.

2. Report the cyber cell about any illicit online activities affecting your bank account.

3. Once the account number the complainant’s money moved to is known, the account can be frozen. As per the statements made by Upasana Singh(DCP Cyber Police ), “The money withdrawn from the account will be returned to them.”

4. Police have also dispersed teams at locations like schools, colleges, universities, and other public place to disseminate the information. 

Cyber Police Department in Hyderabad

The police have warned people not to click on links asking them to switch from 4G to 5G. In fact, they have advised the public to check the details and guidelines on the official website of SIM operators.

Final Words: 5G SIM Fraud

Crimes like extortion, blackmailing, and duping have increased since the Internet became accessible to almost everyone. It is the prime need of the hour that mobile operator agencies, manufacturers, government agencies, and the public work in tandem to increase awareness. This would also reduce similar incidents in the coming time and make cyberspace more secure.

Also Read: Carrying Out Business In India Gets Tougher With New Cyber Rule

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Highlights of the Story

  • 5G services were launched in India on October 1, 2022.
  • Ten days since the launch, the fraudulent activities have already become a sore eye for governmental agencies and people.
  • Agencies have issued guidelines to curb the menace of 5G SIM fraud. Know all about it.

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