The magnitude of fake SIMs involved in committing cybercrimes can be assessed with the fact that six cyber fraudsters arrested by the Rajasthan police last week were involved in selling nearly 1 lakh SIM cards bought illegally from Uttar Pradesh over the last three years.
According to the Jaipur Rural Police, these SIM cards were sold in bulk across the country without the necessary KYC procedures.
In the new cybercrime hotbed Mewat-Bharatpur-Alwar region, the gang sold between 3,000 and 4,000 SIM cards.
According to Additional SP Rural Dharmendra Yadav, the arrested criminals were part of a wider criminal network operating in the region. “They were using a variety of methods to obtain SIM cards in order to stay out of the police net,” Yadav said.
Explaining the procedure to procure these SIM cards Yadav said, “real client was duped by SIM card dealers who took all of the necessary information for issuing the card, including biometrics and Aadhaar card details. After entering all of the details into the system, the dealers rejected the card, citing a system failure, a weak internet connection, or a technological glitch. The customer was then invited to return the next day. By the next day telecom dealer had obtained several SIM cards in the client’s name, which they had sold on the black market at a premium.”
One SIM card is only used for one victim and then as soon money is withdrawn the SIM is destroyed. According to police, this is why, in the vast majority of cases, when the owner of a SIM card is tracked it always leads to an innocent person whose identity had been compromised.
The racket, which spanned Assam to Rajasthan and Uttarakhand to Karnataka, was defined by Jaipur Rural Police as one of the largest in the state.