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Two arrested for ‘SIM card swapping’ fraud in Kolkata

The arrested are part of a larger group that has been active in in this type of crime

Monalisa Chaudhuri | Published 16.03.23, 07:31 AM
Representational file image

Representational file image

Two men have been arrested on Wednesday for allegedly being involved in lending the bank account of one of them for transfer of proceeds from an online fraud that involved deactivating SIM cards and hacking email IDs of targets and duping them.

Police said this was a case of “SIM swapping” where the fraudsters deactivate the SIM card of the target person and divert his or her banking information to a new SIM card so the account holder is not alerted when transactions are made from his or her account.


“The arrested are part of a larger group that has been active in SIM swapping. As part of their modus operandi, they create fake identity cards in the name of the person they have targeted to dupe and lodge a false general diary entry with police citing the loss of a SIM card. Then, they apply for a new SIM card with the telecom service provider. When the new SIM card is activated, the old one — which is in possession of the victim — automatically gets deactivated,” said an officer of the cyber cell of the Kolkata police.

The fraudsters then hack the email ID and the Internet banking account of their target to ensure alerts of the fraudulent transactions do not reach the account holder, the officer said.

Police said they had received a complaint on February 22 where a person had been cheated of Rs 7.43 lakh, allegedly by SIM card swapping.

During investigation, cops found that out of the Rs 7.43 lakh, Rs 4.2 lakh was transferred to an account belonging to Biswajit Majumdar, a resident of Bongaon, who was arrested. “The money had been transferred again to another account and it was finally withdrawn from an ATM in Basirhat,” said the officer.

Dipankar Ghoshal, a resident of Madhyamgram, was the second to be arrested. His alleged role, the police said, was to supply the ATM card attached to the account in Majumdar’s name to other members of the racket.

Of the money the victim was duped out of, the police have recovered Rs 2.9 lakh from a bank account in Siliguri. The rest was withdrawn from multiple ATMs across Kolkata, the officer said.

Last updated on 16.03.23, 07:31 AM

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