In a fraud case of SIM Swap, an Airtel subscriber was shocked when his unique mobile number was ported out and sold without being notified. During a trip to Leh and Ladakh, Navin Raghuvanshi couldn’t get a proper connection. Assuming that he was in a bad reception area, he ignored the issue. But when he noticed that his phone was not registering to the mobile network post his return to his home in Indore, that was when he figured that things were out of place.
After getting a call from a friend on his new number, he was informed that calls to his previous mobile number being received by someone by the name of Arjun Naidu from Bangalore. When Navin spoke to Arjun, he was told that the unique mobile number was purchased for Rs 30,000 from Harish Telecom. The dealer apparently went ahead and voluntarily offered to port the number to BSNL and Arjun agreed since he didn’t own a number from the network provider.
Navin claims that he had been using the number for over ten years, and it was sold within days without his knowledge. Even the Airtel head office in Indore couldn’t help him as the number was no longer in their database as the number was now ported to BSNL. After various attempts and even filing complaints with the police, Navin approached the ADG of police, Varun Kapoor, who asked him to file a complaint online and send an application to the Indore Cyber cell.
According to telecom dealers and experts, this SIM swap can be done when someone who has access to documents required for a SIM swap goes to a dealer and asks for a new SIM. He is probably aware that the owner of the SIM is at a location where network is poor hence will not get a SIM change notification from the operator. There is also a probability that the SIM owner gets a notification but he ignores it or simply does not respond to the SIM change SMS from the operator. When there is no response, the SIM change happens automatically.
To prevent such fraud SIM swaps, it is advised that you check emails and SMS from your network provider regularly. In case you find a message which seems suspicious, it is best to get in touch with the customer care and get your query solved. Make sure you don’t give away any important information like OTPs, PINs and most importantly, any documents. Don't give documents to unauthorised persons or persons you don't know.