How a prominent Hyderabadi engineer loss his savings in a fraud phone call

The victim visited the bank, but it was too late and he discovered he was a victim of fraud.

Jeddah: A prominent Hyderabadi in Jeddah was left utterly stunned after a phone call resulted in the loss of all his savings in one fine weekend.

According to the victim, it all started when he received a phone call from a person claiming to be an employee of the government and wanted to check his Tawakalna update status. The person claimed that the ministry was updating user’s data and asked the victim for information for the same.

At first, veteran Hyderabadi and a professional engineer, who spent lion share of his life in Saudi Arabia, was suspicious. However, the caller convinced him he was indeed an authorized employee. In fact, he didn’t share any personal particulars since he had received an OPT which he had shared with him.

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Interestingly, the fraudster called him again the next day to pretend to be routine and genuine, when the victim suspected something was wrong and disconnected the call.

The victim grew suspicious by the evening as his phone stopped working, he approached his telecom service providing mobile operator where he was informed that SIM card was migrated to another telecom provider. From where the fraudster obtained a duplicate SIM with the same number and used for all transactions above any doubt.

The victim visited the bank, but it was too late and he discovered he was a victim of fraud.

“Stunned with the SIM change, immediately I rushed to the bank then I found that my entire savings in the bank vanished”, narrated victim.  He has lodged a formal police complaint about the fraud.

A SIM swap is a type of identity theft where an attacker manages to get a new SIM card issued against a registered mobile number and gain access to sensitive information.

The scammer then approaches the victim’s mobile operator with fake identity to obtain a duplicate SIM card.

The mobile operator deactivates the genuine SIM card and issues a new one to the attacker.

They are now ready to gain access to the victim’s account and initiate financial transactions using their stolen banking information.

The Saudi authorities have repeatedly issued warnings about such scamsters, advising residents not to share their sensitive information with anyone.

In a related development, the local authorities said that a seven-member criminal gang, including one Saudi citizen and six Asian nationals, was arrested for stealing money after getting access to 2,000 fingerprints of people.

The gang resorted to getting access to the fingerprints of persons and managed to obtain SIM cards in their names without their knowledge. They used to contact these persons and delude them that they were representatives of financial agencies and then managed to get access to their confidential data and steal money from their accounts through the OTP coming to their phone numbers taken by misusing the fingerprints, said local media reports.

The monetary wing under the Public Prosecution investigated the fraudulent practices of the criminal gang. It was revealed in the investigations that the citizen obtained commercial registration in the telecommunications field to facilitate the Asian nationals to engage in fraud, according to news reports.

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