DTI News

June 20, 2024
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Cybersecurity Alert: DoT warns mobile users against dialing *401# and unknown numbers to combat targeted cyber frauds

Cyber frauds : In a bid to tackle cybercrimes and protect citizens from malicious activities, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT), under the Ministry of Communications, has initiated proactive measures. The department is cautioning citizens against responding to suspicious calls that prompt them to dial *401# followed by an unknown mobile number.

This particular scam activates unconditional call forwarding on the recipient’s mobile device to the unknown number provided. Once activated, fraudsters can exploit this feature to receive all incoming calls, potentially leading to various fraudulent activities.

Explaining the modus operandi of these scammers, the DoT reveals that the fraudsters often pose as customer service representatives or technical support staff from telecom service providers. They convince the telecom subscriber that there is an issue with their SIM card, network, or service quality, instructing them to dial a specific code, typically starting with *401#, followed by a mobile number.

Once the unsuspecting victim follows these instructions, unconditional call forwarding is triggered on their mobile number, redirecting all incoming calls to the fraudster’s mobile number. This gives the fraudster the opportunity to intercept and misuse incoming calls for fraudulent activities.

The DoT is actively educating users about the scam and reiterating preventive measures. Users are advised to:

  • Never respond to requests asking to dial *401# from their mobile phones.
  • Regularly check mobile phone settings for call forwarding and disable it if enabled, utilizing the feature only when necessary.

By spreading awareness and urging citizens to remain vigilant, the DoT aims to curb the rising threat of cyber frauds associated with malicious calls.

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