Cyber fraud alert: Govt warns users against malicious call forwarding scam — Check how scamsters trick users in 5 steps

The Department of Telecom has issued a warning to subscribers on Thursday regarding fraudulent calls that instruct them to phone ‘*401#’ followed by an unknown cell number. If a user dials ‘*401#’ followed by an unknown number, it activates unconditional call forwarding from the user’s cellphone to the unknown mobile number.

The statement issued by the telecom department said, “The Department has advised citizens to beware of receiving malicious incoming calls asking them to dial *401# followed by some unknown mobile number. This activates unconditional call forwarding received on the mobile of citizens to the unknown mobile number. This allows fraudsters to receive all incoming calls and can be used for fraud.” 

Cyber fraud: How users get scammed in 5 steps?

Here’s what the Department of Telecom has said regarding the fraud —

i) A fraudster calls telecom subscribers posing as a customer care representative or technical support staff from their telecom service provider.

ii) The fraudster claims that there is a problem with their SIM card or that there is a problem with the network or service quality. 

iii) The fraudster then asks the subscriber to dial a certain code to resolve the problem. 

iv) This fraudulent code often begins with ‘*401#’ and is followed by a cellphone number. 

v) Upon dialling the number, it is claimed that unconditional call forwarding is enabled on the cellphone number in question.

The Department of Transportation stated that telecom service providers never ask their users to dial ‘*401#’ and recommended individuals to check their mobile phone settings for call forwarding and disable it immediately if it has been enabled by calling ‘*401#’.

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