Some mobile service providers have eSIM-enabled cell phones which don’t need an actual SIM card. They have a little chip inside the phone and the data on this eSIM is rewritable so the client can change the operator without any problem. The victim normally gets a message cautioning that his/her SIM card will be blocked, which says: “Dear customer, your SIM card will be blocked in 24 hours.” Or “Please update your eKYC verification.” These criminals call the network clients in the name of customer care executives and ask them to request e-SIM activation.
After the message, fraudsters call their victim claiming to be telecom organization’s customer care executive; say from Airtel, Reliance Jio, or Vodafone-Idea. The message, which looks like from the customer care cell of a mobile service provider, requests that clients click on a link and fill a form. This form can ask for multiple types of data like Bank Details, PII, and so on. Clients are then approached to forward an email ID, sent by the fraudsters, to the customer care of that specific telecom operator. The email ID belongs to the scamsters so that they can register their mail IDs.
In the wake of getting their own email ID enrolled with the victim’s mobile number, the caller at that point requests the victim to forward an eSIM request to the service provider with an enlisted email ID. They deceive the client into sending an email sent by the service provider on their enlisted email addresses.
When the eSIM service gets activated, the activation QR code for eSIM goes to the email ID given by the fraudster. After eSIM activation, the actual SIM that is running in the victims’ phone consequently gets blocked. The fraudster registers the eSIM with digital wallets and links it to the victim’s bank accounts to steal money. Following this, the casualties are made to fill in their details, including bank details, in a google form. That is the way cybercriminals gain admittance to the bank accounts of these users.
A few safety measures to prevent e-SIM frauds:
1. Go to the SIM provider directly to get your e-SIM.
2. Your SIM is never blocked in the wake of upgrading from physical sim to e-SIM. Never believe scammers threatening that your SIM will be hindered unless you upgrade.
3. Never give your details for SIM up-gradation or share any OTP/click on given un-verified links.
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