CALL FORWARDING SCAM
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Picture Courtesy: www.news18.com
Context: Telecom companies have issued warnings to users about a call forwarding scam
Call Forwarding Scam
- The "call forwarding scam" is a prevalent fraud scheme that criminals are using to deceive innocent people nationwide.
- Scammers exploit victims by posing as customer service representatives from mobile network operators or internet service providers to target individuals.
- The primary objective of these scams is financial theft.
How the scam works
- Scammers initiate a call to the victim, pretending to be from a legitimate service provider. They commonly claim there are issues with the victim's mobile internet, broadband speed, hacked accounts, or problems with their SIM card.
- The fraudsters offer a seemingly simple solution to the supposed problem. They instruct the victim to dial a specific number, often starting with *401*, on their smartphones, this code activates call forwarding to a number controlled by the scammer.
- Once the call forwarding is activated, scammers gain access to the victim's phone number. With this access, they attempt to log into the victim's other accounts, including messaging apps and bank accounts.
- Since calls are being forwarded, scammers can intercept voice-based One-Time Passwords (OTPs) sent by these services, granting them unauthorized access.
- The victim remains unaware that their calls are being redirected to a different device. Their phone doesn't ring for incoming calls; instead, all calls are directed to the number specified by the scammer.
Precautions to Protect
- Never dial codes or send text messages from numbers based on instructions received from unknown or unverified sources.
- Use strong passwords or biometric authentication methods to secure smartphones, preventing unauthorized access.
- Never share sensitive information, especially OTPs, with unknown callers claiming to be from mobile network providers.
By staying vigilant and adhering to these safety measures, individuals can significantly reduce the risk of falling victim to call forwarding scams and similar fraudulent activities.
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