Have you received Whatsapp messages, phone calls from an unknown foreign number? Did it cause panic? Well, a little backdrop on it – phone call scam has hit Pakistan.
Warnings were sent on Whatsapp and social media after the users noticed these notorious phone calls. The calls appear to be a sign of the Wangiri or one-call scam. The calls are made to numbers with an expectation that they will be called back and hence will be charged a high amount for it.
Wangiri translates to ‘one ring and cut’ in Japan. It is also where the hoax firstly originated. These numbers are usually acquired from the internet or web-generated hence cannot be traced.
I have received this afternoon pic.twitter.com/dgcmZTlPQz
— Zaro ka BA (@HameerS) May 20, 2019
Whatsapp messages circulated warning against the phone scam:
When a number of users complaint about receiving phone calls, the following message was forwarded and shared on Whatsapp:
Please pass this message to your family and friends NOW. People have been receiving calls from Tel: +375602605281 Tel: +37127913091 Tel: +37178565072 Tel: +56322553736 Tel: +37052529259 Tel: +255901130460 or any number starting from +371 +375 +381 These guys only ring once and hang up. If you call back, they can copy your contact list in 3sec and if you have a bank or credit card details on your phone, they can copy that too… +375 code is for Belarus. +371 code is for Lativa. +381 Serbia. +563 Valparaiso. +370 Vilnius. +255 Tanzania. Don’t answer or Call back. Also, Don’t Press #90 or #09 on your Mobile when asked by any caller. It’s a new trick which is used to access your SIM card, make calls at your expense and frame you as a criminal. URGENTLY FORWARD this message to as many friends as you can to stop any intrusion!!
FIA says these messages are creating panic:
The deputy director of Federal Investigation Agency Punjab Cybercrime Wing, Khalid Anees, says these messages are creating more panic.
“It is not possible to access the SIM card using international calls. The received calls are being made through the internet; this is called ‘net war’. Circulating these forwards messages is like giving credence to rumour mongering.” – he said speaking to DAWN.
The scam first originated in 2012 where people were reached out through these odd numbers. When people called back out of curiosity, they were charged up to $15.
The way to tackle it is to just ignore it. Phone cannot be hacked in this way. They only tempt to call back so high charges are incurred. Do not call back unknown international numbers. Even if it persists, just don’t answer.
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