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Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Beware! Airtel Warns Users of SMS Scam

Criminals devise new way to dupe innocent people
Cyber frauds are nothing new in India, every now and then we hear about people getting duped by unsolicited e-mails received from Nigeria, UK.

It seems criminals have devised a new way to dupe innocent people via SMS. An alert on Airtel's website is cautioning it's users to be vary of such fraudsters.

According to Airtel, "an instance has come to notice in one of the circles wherein some subscribers have received SMS of the type - !Urgent! Your number has been selected for a $5,000 prize guaranteed! To claim your prize call +423697497456/ +447024054367. The above SMS is sent through bulk SMS product and is a type of Premium Rate Service Fraud (PRS) operated by organized gangs. The intent of the SMS is to induce the subscribers to call international numbers as listed above which have very high terminating rates. When the subscriber calls the number he is usually connected to a recorded message and the customer is billed a high amount. Replying to such SMS's could also result in viruses being downloaded on the subscriber's phone."

The disclaimer put up on the Airtel website:

"Unsolicited fraudulent SMS's are being sent to various subscribers informing them that they have won a prize and need to call an international number to collect their prize. When calls are made to the number in the text message the subscribers are billed a high amount (upto Rs 500 per minute). Subscribers are cautioned not to respond to such SMS's."

But worry not, TRAI will now be able to nab mobile phone spammers.

Have you been victim to such fraud? Do let us know through your comments.

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