The cybercrime branch of Ahmedabad arrested a 24-year-old man from Pune for the alleged theft of Rs 80 lakh from a businessman’s account in a sim swap fraud.
Gautam Mukherjee, who is from Ranchi in Jharkhand, works for a software analytics firm in Pune. According to investigators, Mukherjee, a BCA degree holder, had been working with a gang that was using the sim swap modus operandi fraud for about two years.
Mukherjee and his accomplices in May deactivated the simcard of a businessman, got a new one issued and withdrew Rs 79.70 lakh. Mukherjee transferred Rs 38 lakh to his own bank account which he later converted into US dollars. He transferred Rs 42 lakh to another account in a private bank.
Cybercrime police had seized Rs 50 lakh, which was returned to the complainant, said police officers. Investigators said Mukherjee and his associates were in cahoots with a gang of cybercriminals based in Nigeria. The gang from Nigeria had bugged the victim’s system and got banking details. Mukherjee and his aides, who were dealing with employees of telecom service providers, then got his number and swapped the sim.
Cybercriminals get the personal details of a target through phishing, vishing or smishing. They use this information to trick telecom companies into issuing duplicate sim cards. Once the duplicate sim begins to function, the original gets blocked. The cybercriminals then used the duplicate sim to gain access to the victim’s bank accounts and get one-time passwords (OTP) to carry out transactions.