In a SIM card swap fraud case, a city-based textile merchant lost at least Rs 1.86 crore, which was illegally transferred from his account by unidentified persons to various bank accounts across the country, police said. The incident came to light when the victim, who hails from Mahim in Central Mumbai, approached the BKC Cyber Police Station with a complaint, an official said.
According to the complaint, on the intervening night of Thursday-Friday, the textile merchant's cellphone had stopped functioning after some missed calls, he said.
The next morning, he found that his bank account, which was with a co-operative bank and whose details were linked to his mobile phone, had been almost emptied during the night, the official said.
At least Rs 1.86 crore was fraudulently transferred from his account through RTGS/NEFT (electronic fund transfer systems) by unidentified persons to 24 accounts of various banks in Delhi, West Bengal, Jharkhand and some northern states, he said.
The businessman rushed to his bank and tried to stop fraudulent money transfers, the official said, adding the bank managed to bring back Rs 20 lakh and was also able to freeze some more amounts.
Based on his complaint, an offence was lodged against unidentified persons under IPC sections related to cheating, impersonation, acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention and also relevant provisions of the Information Technology Act, he said.
During the investigation, it came to light that the fraudsters had managed to clone the businessman's SIM card, the official said.
The police suspect the accused persons got access to the businessman's unique SIM number and initiated a SIM swap and then moved his money to other bank accounts through multiple transactions, he said.
They may have got the businessman's SIM card details with the help of a malware, a type of computer virus, the official added.