At the Indian Mobile Congress (IMC) 2022 earlier this month, India’s 5G mobile network was announced. A few days later, Airtel and Jio revealed their plans to roll out 5G in a few major cities. While consumers are eager to test next-generation mobile services on their smartphones and enjoy better connectivity, scammers have developed a new trick technique.
According to reports, scammers are pretending to be customer service representatives from Vodafone, Airtel, or Jio and cheating unwary customers into upgrading their 4G SIMs to 5G.
The public has been alerted by cyber crime police to potential hacking and one-time password-based fraud by scammers. Mumbai Police has warned their followers about the trap in which scammers demand money under the pretense of assisting the victims in upgrading to a 5G SIM. Pune, Hyderabad, and Gurugram police Twitter accounts have shared similar tweets regarding the scam.
The latest phishing technique involves sending customers misleading URLs that ask them to submit sensitive or personal data, like bank passwords or OTPs, and deducting money from their accounts. There has been an increase in reports of people losing money from their bank accounts due to clicking on links they received on their phones.
Some fraudsters persuade victims to upgrade from 4G to 5G networks by providing links to their phones. People click on this link believing it to be an official message from the telecom operator to get access to improved connectivity. In reality, fraudsters hack the victims’ phones and take private information.
Scammers will be aware of the mobile number connected to the bank accounts as soon as consumers click on the malicious link. They will change the SIM card and ban the phone number, blocking people from using their SIM.
The Cyber wing has advised users not to click on messages that say “Switch from 4G to 5G” from unidentified senders or phone numbers. Before clicking on fraudulent or dubious links, checking the details is crucial. Moreover, the leading telecoms launching their 5G networks in some Indian cities have clarified that their users do not need to change their SIM cards from 4G to 5G to access the latest mobile network.