For the past several days, WhatsApp users have been receiving voice calls from un-non (whose number cannot be identified), many people are also writing about it on social media. When you check the code of these numbers, you will know that these numbers are not from India. These calls are being made from foreign SIM or number.
But what is happening and how it is happening, as well as tell you what kind of risk is associated with it. It is being said that this is a new WhatsApp scam.
What is WhatsApp Scam?
Many WhatsApp users have reported that they have received calls from unknown international numbers. These include Ethiopia (+251), Malaysia (+60), Vietnam (+84), Indonesia (+62), Kenya (+254) and many other countries.
But how is this happening?
Karan Saini, a security technologist at the Centre for Internet Society, India, told The Quint what kind of possible modus operandi these scammers are using and how they are able to call so many people across India.
Saini said that there is not much difference in these calls coming on WhatsApp like the rest of our phones get fake calls. This brings out two things:
- All the numbers from which the calls are coming are coming from a few countries, and it may be that the rules for buying SIM and buying new numbers in those countries are easy.
- It may also be that the fraudster has collected numbers from different countries, that is because WhatsApp’s spam detection system suspends those numbers that many users have either reported or blocked.
At the same time, some experts also say that the scammer may be a person from India who has received numbers from different countries or he is making this call through the Internet.
Saini further said, “It may also be that the scammer has received the cache of mobile numbers from these countries, which they are misusing.”
What are these scammers looking for, what’s the risk in that?
At the moment, it is difficult to understand what the scammers are looking for, it may be that they are trying to establish a contact by giving such missed calls, trying to start a conversation with the users so that they can then be robbed by promising a fake job.
Saini said, “It may be that after the missed call, the scammer wants the user to message him to know whose number he belongs and then do the same thing as the fraud happens through call or e-mail.”
However, Saini replied to one such number to see what happens. As soon as he messaged, a reply came from the front immediately. This answer may have been given by the bot (BOT- i.e. the one who gives automatic response). “Would you like to work part-time, all you have to do is search a few keywords on Google and pay Rs 2,500 per day,” he said.
From this kind of message, you should understand that it is fake. Getting a reply so quickly, offering Rs 2,500 per day.
What should WhatsApp users do to avoid these frauds?
The best way would be to not answer these calls, when the call is coming, cut it, block and report it so that you do not have trouble with that number later.
However, there is no harm in answering those calls or texting, because at the moment it seems that there is no person in front, he is a bot.
Why is the number of such frauds increasing?
Pawan Duggal, a Supreme Court lawyer and expert on cyber crime laws, told The Quint, “The reason for the increasing number of such frauds in India is that we do not have a strong law regarding cyber security.”
He further said that the IT Act 2000 and its amendments like the IT Rules 2023 can deal with such frauds, but the problem is that they have not been implemented properly.
“The laws need to be strengthened further. The government needs to do a lot more to stop the misuse of platforms like WhatsApp.