TRAI Alerts Public to Mobile Disconnection Scam: What to Do?
By: Javid Amin
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has issued a crucial alert concerning a new scam targeting mobile phone users. Fraudsters posing as TRAI representatives are making deceptive calls, falsely informing individuals that their mobile numbers will be disconnected due to unsolicited messages or improper Aadhaar usage.
These scammers are also attempting to lure unsuspecting individuals into joining Skype video calls under the guise of resolving the alleged disconnection issue. TRAI vehemently clarifies that it has not authorized any agency to contact customers regarding mobile number disconnection. Therefore, the public is strongly advised to exercise caution and refrain from engaging with these fraudulent calls or SMS.
Potential Risks of Joining the Skype Call
Entertaining these Skype calls poses a significant threat to your personal information and financial security. The scammers aim to gain your trust and extract sensitive data, including bank account details, credit card numbers, or passwords. They may also attempt to trick you into transferring funds to them.
Common Scamming Techniques Employed by Fraudsters:
Phishing Links: Scammers may send phishing links in the Skype chat during the call, directing you to a fake website resembling an official TRAI site. Clicking on this link could compromise your login credentials or other sensitive information.
Malware Downloads: Fraudsters may manipulate you into downloading malware onto your device, granting them access to your personal files, financial records, or even complete control of your device.
Social Engineering Tactics: Scammers may employ social engineering techniques, pretending to be distressed friends, family members, or authority figures, to manipulate you into revealing personal information or taking actions that could harm your finances.
Reporting Unsolicited Communication
TRAI encourages individuals to report any unsolicited communication directly to the concerned Service Providers by contacting their respective Customer Service Centers or through the National Cyber Crime Reporting Portal at cybercrime.gov.in. Alternatively, you can call the Cyber Crime Helpline Number 1930. When reporting, ensure to provide comprehensive details, including the phone number, content, date, and time of the unsolicited communication. For further assistance, you can contact the Senior Research Officer/Deputy Advisor (Consumer Affairs) via email at daca[at]trai[dot]gov[dot]in.
Protect Yourself from Scammers
To safeguard yourself from these fraudulent attempts, remain vigilant and follow these precautions:
Ignore Suspicious Calls and SMS: Avoid engaging with calls or messages claiming mobile number disconnection or blocking; such communications are illegal and should be disregarded.
Verify Information: Never disclose personal information or perform financial transactions without first verifying the caller’s identity.
Report Suspicious Activity: If you receive any suspicious calls or messages, report them immediately to the concerned authorities and TRAI.
Protect Your Aadhaar: Exercise caution when sharing your Aadhaar details and ensure you only provide it to authorized entities.
Install Secure Software: Install and maintain reputable antivirus and anti-malware software on your devices to protect against cyberattacks.
Educate Others: Share this information with your family, friends, and colleagues to raise awareness about these scams and help protect others from falling victim to them.