The occurrence rate of cyber crimes is sky high in the world we are living now. This is the story of Shashwat Gupta from Kozhikode who works in a private firm. He has lost his savings in his ICICI bank account to a hoax caller who feigned a call for linking his Aadhar card to his mobile number.

He received a call asking him to SMS his sim number to 121, ie Airtel Service number for linking the sim with Aadhaar. Since he had been receiving such calls from Airtel he didn’t question the authenticity of the call and said that he couldn’t find out the sim number. Then he asked the caller to help with the sim number after which he received a number from caller’s end and as he texted the received number to 121 his sim was blocked. Since the number that he received was caller’s sim number Shaswat’s sim got blocked and the number got activated in fraudster’s sim. The procedure is used to block the original sim when a duplicate of it is issued.

The culprits easily obtained the OTP with the duplicate sim and withdrew money in amounts of 10,000 and 20,000 at a rate that alarmed the ICICI bank authorities. They contacted Shashwat’s father only to find out that his sim is blocked. The bank was able to freeze Shashwat’s salary account only after 18 hours of raising the service request. Till then, the cyber thieves had withdrawn all amount including his investments in fixed deposits which amount to 1.30 lacs.


Here is what Shashwat’s wrote on his FB wall :

And in a blitz, my salary account was looted.
Hi guys! I just lost an amount of Rupees 1.3 lacs from my ICICI Bank salary account. A fraud, claiming to be from Airtel, gave me an ultimatum that Airtel would deactivate my SIM and block my number forever as I had not linked my Aadhar card to my SIM. He urged me to message my SIM card number to 121 (Official Airtel Service Number) and my SIM would be reactivated without any hassle. Little did I know that the fraudster would clone my SIM and loot all my hard earned money and also take away Investments (Fixed Deposits) that I had planned on using during the worst times of my life.

Is this all that was required to break my ICICI Bank Account? Is that how vulnerable technology has left us? I always thought that our accounts are well protected by layers of security. I was under the impression that a person would require my account details or debit card or some sensitive information that only I have, that I have been safeguarding every minute of my life, to break my account. But the truth is all that sensitive stuff is already floating around the criminal world waiting to be raided, as our beloved banks like ICICI Bank haven’t been able to keep what must only be ours, OURS!

It is unbelievable how easy it has become to steal from our accounts. All the fraudsters are doing is trying every trick they can think of to get that one tiny key that would break open a safe that seem to be safeguarded by hundred different locks.

The saddest part of this is, after the loot on day one, ICICI Bank was not able to protect the balance amount. Even after 18 hours of raising Service Request ( S/R 497438380 ) and repeated follow-ups on customer care and branch, the Bank was not able to freeze my balance and as a result early next morning the fraudster was easily able to walk away with the remaining amount. Dear ICICI Bank, are your services supposed to end in crisis or are you supposed to relieve the customers’ grievances and prevent further damage?”

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The youth is really heartbroken right now. Technology has taken over every system in today’s world and it is inevitable to operate one’s bank account over net banking. It’s not just fast but also easy. But related safety measures are must to be followed.As criminals have found out newer ways of loot, we have to be alert and updated to keep our properties safe.

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