Missed call scam targets phones in Kashmir

Missed call scam targets phones in Kashmir

Srinagar: Amid Covid-19 chaos, people in Kashmir have been receiving endless scam calls from unknown numbers, in the form of missed calls. One of them is Dr Rouf Malik, who was called twice by an unknown number. He did return the call once but there was silence from the other side.
Aliyah Mujeeb chose not to answer the calls. When the calls kept coming, she switched her phone off, she told Kashmir Reader.
“I got a missed call from a national number. I thought it was some relative or a friend and I called back. But it was busy. Then I texted on the number but there was no reply. Then I came to know through Facebook that it was a spam call,”she said.
SP Cyber Police Tahir Ashraf said that thousands of people have received such calls since Monday, of whom nearly 500 have registered complaints with the cyber police.
“It is called one-ring phone scam, the purpose of which is to make the user call back and pay through the nose for the call. People should never answer such missed calls. They must report the number to their service provider,” Ashraf advised.
According to Sarthak Maggon, a Delhi-based criminal lawyer, Kashmir can be a hotspot for financial and cyber crimes given that a number of people from Kashmiri households live outside. Especially in times of Covid-19, people may think that someone is trying to get in touch with them.
“It is likely for people to assume that the caller is a close relative or friend,” he said.
Also, he said, there are several variants of missed call scams which are predominantly utilised to ensure that the victim calls back and is charged a substantial amount on a premium number which is credited to the caller’s account.
He said that upon answering or calling back, the offending entity chooses to mimic OTP links and data collection, through which the victim can be scammed into parting with information related to bank accounts.
“The possibilities are endless, largely owing to the creativity, financial resources and technical infrastructure available with the scamsters,,” Maggon added.
Aqib Maqdoomi, a 29-year-old, said that when he called back on a missed call number, an amount of Rs 6 was charged for one second. He could have been charged Rs 360 for a minute if the call had continued that long.

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