Most of us are receiving SMS alters from our mobile operators “Please do not to respond to missed calls from unknown international numbers with prefix other than “+91” or calls/SMS about winning prizes/ lottery as these may be fraudulent calls” but no one tells why not to respond. Here is the story why we should not respond to these calls.
Prefix +91 is the International code for making a valid call to India from abroad and if you receive a call prefix other than +91, then it might be International Premium Rate Number (IPRN) and if you call back these IPRN, you may be charged at hefty rates which are transferred to the IPRN owner. The trick is known as the ‘Wangiri’ fraud it is believed that this trick or scam originated in Japan and in Japanese, ‘Wangiri’ means ‘one ring and cut’.
What is a IPRN?
International Premium-rate numbers (IPRN) are typically known as toll numbers which are offered by telecom operators and acquired by businesses (Commercial establishments advertise these IPRN for technical support, voting polls, competitions, directory inquiries, weather forecasts and more). If any one calls these IPRN, Callers are charged at premium rates (higher than regular calling rates)and the revenue earned is then shared between the telecom operator and the owner of the IPRN.
How a Wangiri scam works?
Once an attacker has acquired a IPRN, he gives missed calls to thousands of mobile numbers chosen randomly. Inadvertently, an unsuspecting victim calls the number back and on other side an individual answers the call and tries to prolong the conversation under some pretext. All this while, the innocent curious caller gets charged a large amount for the call. The rates range from Rs. 50 per minute to Rs. 200 per minute. Prepaid users will find their credit drastically reduced whereas post-paid users would only come to know of these charges once they view their monthly bill.
Some of mobile users who has become victims of such fraudulent calls, they make complaints that they were not only be charged for making an international call, on calling back these missed international calls but also they lose the data stored on their phone such as credit card and bank details.
Now, there seems to be a trend of cloning SIM cards simply by giving missed calls. If you get missed calls from numbers starting with #90, +92 or #09, do not call back as your SIM card will be cloned. As per reports, over one lakh subscribers have become victims of this new telecom menace.
What if you answer the call before the caller dropped it? The caller on the other end poses as a call center representative and claims that it is for verifying the call flow and connectivity. You will then be asked to press #90 or #09 to call back in order to ensure if the connectivity is seamless and as soon as you press #90 or #09, the person on other side make clone of your SIM and then they may misuse this cloned SIM for making calls to any number by using your mobile number.
The best course of action would be to simply ignore such suspicious missed calls and refrain from calling them back. You can also utilize the ‘Call Blocking’ feature of your device to blacklist such numbers and prevent them from reaching your mobile handset.
You may share your experience here so that everyone who reads this will benefit from that.
Category: Telecom Gyaan
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