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Beware of fraud Whatsapp calls from Pakistan, warns telecom ministry

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT), under the Ministry of Communications, has issued an advisory warning citizens about fraudulent calls impersonating government officials. These calls threaten mobile users with disconnection, claiming their numbers are linked to illegal activities.

Beware of fraud Whatsapp calls from Pakistan, warns telecom ministry
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First Published Apr 8, 2024, 9:08 AM IST

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT), operating under the Ministry of Communications, has issued a recent advisory cautioning citizens regarding suspicious calls originating from specific numbers. These calls, allegedly made by individuals posing as representatives of the DoT, involve threats of mobile number disconnection due to purported misuse in illegal activities.

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The fraudulent callers employ tactics reminiscent of cybercrime schemes associated with the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), wherein impersonators claim to be CBI officials and assert that the recipient's identity has been linked to illicit operations. Similarly, the DoT advisory highlights the emergence of WhatsApp calls originating from foreign numbers, particularly from Pakistan with country code +92. These calls, often masquerading as government officials, aim to deceive and defraud unsuspecting individuals.

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has echoed the DoT's concerns, urging mobile users to exercise caution and refrain from engaging with calls originating from unknown numbers, particularly those with international codes such as '+92.' The Telecom Ministry has underscored the risks associated with such communications, warning of potential threats to personal information and the likelihood of cybercrime or financial fraud.

Emphasizing that the DoT does not authorize or endorse such calls, the advisory advises recipients to remain vigilant and refrain from divulging any personal or sensitive information if contacted. Should individuals receive calls from unfamiliar numbers beginning with +92, they are urged not to share credentials, banking details, or OTPs (One-Time Passwords).

In response to these fraudulent activities, the DoT has provided avenues for reporting such incidents. Citizens are encouraged to utilize the 'Chakshu-Report Suspected Fraud Communications' feature on the Sanchar Saathi portal (www.sancharsaathi.gov.in) to report fraudulent communications promptly. This proactive reporting assists the DoT in preventing the misuse of telecom resources for cybercrime and financial fraud.

Additionally, individuals are advised to verify the mobile connections registered in their name using the 'Know Your Mobile Connections' facility on the Sanchar Saathi portal and report any unauthorized or unnecessary connections.

In the event of falling victim to cybercrime or financial fraud, citizens are urged to report incidents to the cyber-crime helpline number 1930 or via the official website www.cybercrime.gov.in for appropriate action.

The advisory serves as a timely reminder for citizens to remain vigilant and exercise caution when responding to unfamiliar communications, thereby safeguarding themselves against potential threats and fraudulent activities in the digital sphere.

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