Heaving a sigh of relief after Trai’s regulation that effectively banned SPAM SMS might be short-lived for many Indian cellular subscribers as they face a new menace – missed calls from international numbers aimed at phishing information. Most of these calls originate from +92 (Pakistan), +375 (Belarus) and +232 (Sierra Leone) and usually come late at night. This is not a new fraud scheme but it seems to have picked up since Trai’s new SMS regulations have come into force. Many of our readers have reached out to us complaining about the new menace. Airtel warns its customers that on calling these numbers back, a fraudster would claim that he is a representative of the carrier and would claim that the caller has won a prize and would try to get sensitive information. Also Read - Realme Book, Realme Pad teased, will launch later this year: Details here
We would like to issue a general advisory to caution Indian telecom customers who are being arbitrarily targeted by calls fraudulently claiming the recipient customer as being a Prize/Lottery Winner. In these types of phone frauds, the customer returns a missed call with a +92 or +375 country code, and reaches a fraudster pretending to be representative of airtel or another Indian mobile operator and informs the customer of having won some lottery/prize money. The fraudster then attempts to trick the customer into divulging sensitive personal information and to pay a “commission” to receive the winnings. Such commission is usually asked to be paid via an international DTH operator’s recharge vouchers. Also Read - Truecaller on Android can now clean up your SMS inbox spam with one tap
To protect all our mobile subscribers from such malicious activities airtel would like to advise the following:
- Do not respond to any unexpected calls from a number with the +92 or +375 country code or any other suspicious missed calls from unknown numbers.
- Do not get lured into any financial transactions or divulge any personal information, to callers offering prize money or lottery winnings. Also do not respond to any instructions to dial an international number to get the prize money.
- Do not respond to any SMS from unknown sources prompting to call on a number.
In case of such suspicious calls from +92 or +375 country code, airtel customers, please report the same to us immediately at email@example.com, others please inform your respective operators’ customer care departments.