Scammers Exploit WhatsApp to Target Indian Users with Fraudulent Calls

The article warns Indian WhatsApp users of a new scam where they may receive fraud messages and calls from international phone numbers. Users are advised to be cautious, not engage with suspicious calls or messages, and report incidents to authorities.

Kashish Haswani
09 May 2023 | Updated On 10 May 2023
Scammers Exploit WhatsApp to Target Indian Users with Fraudulent Calls

WhatsApp Scam

WhatsApp is a popular instant messaging application that has become a lifeline for many of us. With billions of active users worldwide, the platform is often exploited by scammers who try to defraud people of their hard-earned money.

Modus Operandi

The latest scam being reported on WhatsApp involves people receiving calls from unknown international numbers. These calls originate from different countries such as Ethiopia (+251), Malaysia (+60), Indonesia (+62), Kenya (+254), Vietnam (+84), and many others. However, the call's origin might not be the same as the country code displayed on the screen.

As per some media reports, there are agencies that sell international numbers for WhatsApp calls in the same city as you. Hence, anyone can call from such numbers without worrying about any international call charges, which would be incurred on a cellular call. It is worth noting that WhatsApp calls are transmitted via the Internet, which makes them more accessible and less expensive than traditional phone calls.

Many users on Twitter have reported receiving calls from unknown international numbers, and it is best not to respond to any such calls. These calls usually appear out of the blue, and if you suddenly get a call from an international number, it is best to turn it down and block the number for additional safety. Scammers could have multiple malicious intentions, from trying to get your personal details to stealing your money.

In addition to this scam, another type of scam that is being reported is receiving job offers via WhatsApp messages. Scammers often pose as representatives from reputed companies and offer part-time jobs that can be carried out from the comfort of one's home. They usually lure people by offering a small reward for completing a 'task'. Once the user receives their money, they start trusting the scammers and get caught up in a much larger scam that could cost them a lot of money. Many such incidents have been reported in the past, and a few users on Twitter have also highlighted the scam to raise awareness.

Potential Solutions

Given the rising incidents of such scams, people are urging WhatsApp to introduce a feature that allows them to control who can call them which is already available on Telegram. Currently, WhatsApp only allows users to control who can see their profile picture, status, and last seen. However, the absence of a feature that enables users to restrict incoming calls from unknown numbers has made them vulnerable to such scams.

Authorities Advise

In light of these incidents, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) and the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) have issued advisories to people to avoid such scams. TRAI has suggested that users should not share any personal information with unknown numbers or click on any suspicious links that they may receive via WhatsApp. DoT has also advised users to immediately block and report any unknown international numbers to their service providers.

In conclusion, the best way to avoid falling victim to such scams is to be cautious and aware of the risks. Users should always ensure that whoever they interact with online is trusted and should never transfer money to any account or give out their personal details to strangers on the internet. Additionally, they should be careful while clicking on any suspicious links and always verify the authenticity of any job offers they may receive through WhatsApp messages.


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