2 Former Telecom Co Staff Arrested For SIM Swapping In Bhubaneswar

Bhubaneswar: The Twin City Commissionerate Police has arrested two former employees of a private telecom company for alleged SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) swapping.

The accused persons have allegedly swapped SIMs of 35 vanity number subscribers of the telecom company for unauthorised use of the permission given to them by the telecom company to access its application while they were serving in the company.

Bhubaneswar DCP Uma Shankar Dash today told reporters that a private telecom company had reported to the police that around 35 vanity numbers allotted by it to its subscribers had got deactivated.

“During the course of our investigation it was found that two former employees of the company who earlier had permission to access the company’s application had fraudulently used it even after quitting their jobs to swap the SIMs of these 35 vanity numbers with other SIMs and got those activated by preparing fake identity documents and sold them to different persons outside the State,” revealed Dash.

The Bhubaneswar DCP stated that in this context on the basis of prima facie evidence two persons have been arrested and a case has been registered at the Infocity Police Station. Further investigation in the matter is underway, he added.

The DCP explained that there are two aspects in this case, as seen earlier, through SIM swapping when one person fraudulently takes over another person’s mobile phone number s/he gets access to the personal data, bank account, and social media account, Whatsapp account of the former where the mobile phone number is used for verification purpose/receipt of OTPs (one time passwords).

There are earlier instances of several financial frauds, cybercrimes committed through SIM swapping. So this is a serious matter, he added.

“We will bring Telecom Company’s agency which was involved in document verification under the purview of our investigation to ascertain how SIM swapping could be done using fake documents. Secondly, the persons currently using these numbers and how they got it will be also brought into the purview of the investigation,” Dash informed.

Worth mentioning, mobile phone numbers of extreme demand having some specific sequence that makes the telecom service subscriber’s communication identity simpler are termed as Vanity/Fancy/Premium Numbers. These numbers are segregated into different patterns depending on their sequence of repetition and representation.

Uma Shankar Dash, DCP, Bhubaneswar