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Fraudsters Stole 850 000 CZK Using This New eSIM Scam

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The cybercrime experts from the Pilsen Regional Police Directorate are issuing a warning about a new type of fraud. They were contacted by a victim who fell prey to a scammer pretending to be an employee of a mobile operator. The fraudster offered to switch the victim’s traditional phone SIM card to an eSIM as part of a digitalization process. The victim received a code through a text message, which they then provided to the supposed operator. However, the fraudster used this code to take control of the victim’s phone number, subsequently gaining access to their internet banking and stealing CZK 850,000, according to police spokesperson Dagmar Brožová.

“In light of this new form of fraud, we want to alert the public that if you haven’t requested an eSIM card and you receive a call from someone claiming to be from a mobile operator offering to switch your SIM card, it is most likely a scam. The mobile operator never initiates such a change from a SIM card to an eSIM; it can only be done upon your request,” cautioned the spokesperson. She emphasized that only a limited range of devices currently support eSIM cards. People should never share the codes they receive with anyone, including mobile operator staff. “If you have any doubts during a call with your operator, hang up and contact the official phone number of your operator, which can be found on their website. Never call back the number from which the suspicious call originated,” advised Brožová.

Crimestoppers in the region have observed a rise in computer crime cases in recent years. In the previous year, they investigated 886 such crimes, accounting for nine percent of the county’s total crime. In 2021, IT-related crimes constituted six percent of the overall annual crime. In their review of the crime statistics for 2022, county police reported that 551 cybercrime cases involved computer fraud.

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