• Several WhatsApp users in India are receiving multiple scam calls from International numbers.
• Most of these calls are from Vietnam, Indonesia, etc.
• We strongly advise you not to accept these calls from such for their safety.
• Most of these are robocalls, but some of them are actually scammers, looking to target unsuspecting users.
In today’s digital era, WhatsApp is one of the most popular social media apps for messaging and staying connected with near and dear ones. However, it comes with a cost as this app time and again has become a tool for cybercriminals to target innocent customers. In increasing cases, fraudsters are using WhatsApp to scam the app users.
It is being reported that several WhatsApp users are receiving unknown calls from international numbers from different countries such as Ethiopia (+251), Malaysia (+60), Indonesia (+62), Kenya (+254), Vietnam (+84) and others.
What you need to understand is that these code numbers do not necessarily mean that the calls are originating from these countries as we all know WhatsApp calls originate over the internet. Reports suggest that these international numbers are sold by agencies to scammers in the country.
In recent days, several users have reported about the new scam on microblogging site Twitter.
Okay seriously its getting out of hands!!! I have been getting these scam @WhatsApp calls from Unknown international numbers all day. Please take needed actions as all my friends have also reported the same!,” wrote one user in a Twitter post.
“I am getting lots of missed calls from Indonesian WhatsApp numbers. I think someone is not happy with my work,” wrote Vijay Patel, a Twitter user.
Scam calls have been common in India for a couple of past years. As a result, Telecom operators recently introduced Al Filter spam to reduce the number of spam calls that a user receives in a day.
However, scammers have now started targeting users on WhatsApp. Various WhatsApp users complain that they keep receiving several unwanted WhatsApp videos and voice calls from unknown international numbers.
The report comes from Entrackr and multiple users who faced this problem. Recently, we also received calls from unknown international numbers on WhatsApp with the country code +7, designated to Russia and Kazakhstan. This suggests that scammers are using WhatsApp to target people in India and other countries.
It’s unclear how scammers are obtaining users’ phone numbers and whether they are using bots or manually targeting individuals. But these calls and messages overall are a menace.
Several Users Receiving Unknown WhatsApp Calls
It seems that scammers have found a new way to dupe users. They have been calling users across India from international numbers. These international calls are being received from numbers with these country codes – +84 (code for Vietnam), +62 (country code for Indonesia), and +223 (code for Mali). Most of these international calls seem to be originating from Southeast Asian countries.
Do note that it is not confirmed whether the scammers are actually from these countries or are just using numbers from these countries. The report says scammers buy VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) numbers for WhatsApp online to call victims. Ritesh Bhatia, founding director of V4WEB Cybersecurity, says that the process to buy such numbers is easy, and anyone can buy them.
These scammers may also buy a SIM from the respective countries and use them to activate WhatsApp. After that, they can target any user around the globe.
There have been many instances of such fraud. For example, Kul Bhushan from Entrackr says he received three international calls last month, and the frequency kept increasing daily. Similarly, users on Twitter have also pointed out the same issue. All these calls were reportedly from Vietnam.
We strongly advise our readers not to accept any WhatsApp voice or video calls from international numbers as they are fraud. You might now know who’s on the other side of the call and how they can use your face.
“Over the years, we have consistently invested in Artificial Intelligence and other state-of-the-art technology, data scientists and experts, and in processes, in order to keep our users safe on our platform,” a WhatsApp spokesperson told Entrackr.
Why are people getting these calls?
The proliferation of scam calls, particularly on WhatsApp, appears to be unprecedented. Although scammers have been using conventional text messaging (SMS) for a long time to target people, the scale at which they are using WhatsApp seems new. While most of these are robocalls, some scammers are posing as HRs and luring people with the promise of jobs.
One Twitter user, Shreyansh Jain, shared a screenshot of a WhatsApp message he received from a scammer who introduced themselves as “HR Priscilla Barret” and offered him a part-time job. The job was to earn Rs 50 per like on YouTube videos and up to “10000 Rs” per day, which is clearly a scam.
According to the Entracker report, Bhaskar Majumdar, a senior communication consultant, said that the scam process has become more digital and omnichannel, including WhatsApp messages, SMS, and LinkedIn messages. He added that he receives a minimum of two calls a week, in addition to WhatsApp messages and LinkedIn messages. The process of obtaining VolP numbers for WhatsApp is straightforward, and scammers are using this to target unsuspecting users. From the number of complaints being raised on Twitter, this phenomenon seems to be well-organised, and these scammers are likely operating as a mafia.
So far, WhatsApp has not commented on this issue, but the company has been conducting awareness campaigns online and offline, encouraging users not to engage with these scam calls and messages. Telegram is also experiencing the same phenomenon, and readers are advised not to accept any unverified calls or messages from international numbers to protect themselves from these scams.
What is WhatsApp International Call Scam?
A user on Twitter who goes by the name Shreyansh Jain revealed that he received a message from a similar international number. The contact from Vietnam introduced herself as HR Priscilla Barret, who offered the user a part-time job. The job description said that the user needs to like a YouTube video, and they will get Rs 50 for each like. They can earn up to Rs 10000 every day.
This is nothing but a scam that we reported months ago. In such cases, the scammers will either ask you to install an app that will be infected with malware or to join a Telegram channel where they will ask you to invest some amount in stocks and cryptos. This can lead to your financial or data loss. We strongly recommend our users not believe in such scams.
What WhatsApp users need to do?
WhatsApp users must ignore such calls and should not entertain at all. Moreover, the WhatsApp users can block and report these numbers. To block these unknown numbers on WhatsApp, you need to open a chat with the contact, then tap More > Block > Block. After this, you can also report the contact by tapping Report contact > Block.
1) Indian WhatsApp users beware, messages and calls you are receiving from international numbers are a scam.Details?
Ans) WhatsApp is the go-to instant messaging application for a lot of us and has billions of users worldwide. However, the platform is often exploited by scammers who are trying to get a hold of people’s hard-earned money. A new scam is being reported in which people are getting calls from international numbers out of the blue. These calls are from different countries like Ethiopia (+251), Malaysia (+60), Indonesia (+62), Kenya (+254), Vietnam (+84) and others.
However, just because these calls start from a different country code does not mean that the origin of the call is actually that country.
We all know that WhatsApp calls are transmitted via the internet. And as per some media reports, there are agencies at work that are selling international numbers for WhatsApp calls in the same city as you. Hence, anybody can call from such numbers without worrying about any international call charges as would be incurred on a cellular call.
A number of users on Twitter reported receiving calls from international numbers more than once.
So what can you do? The best way out would be to simply not respond to any unknown international calls. These calls usually appear out of the blue. Hence, if you suddenly get a call from an international number, it is best to turn it down and block the number for additional safety. From trying to get your personal details to stealing your money, these scammers could have multiple malicious intentions.
Another type of scam that is being reported is that of receiving job offers via WhatsApp messages. The scammers pose to be from a reputed company and tell you that they can offer you a part-time job that can be carried out from within the comfort of your home. In most cases, the scammers first lure people by offering them a small reward for completing a ‘task’. Once the user gets 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.
The internet, as we all know, has two sides. It is best to stay away from such scams by ensuring that whoever you interact with online is a trusted person. Additionally, you should never transfer money to any account or give out your personal details just because a random stranger on the internet asked you to.
2) Receiving WhatsApp calls from international numbers out of the blue? Beware! This is a scam.Details?
Ans) WhatsApp is one of the most popular social media apps, used by billions worldwide. The app time and again has become a tool for cyber criminals to target innocent customers. Once again, fraudsters are using WhatsApp to scam the app users.
This time, WhatsApp users are receiving calls from international numbers from different countries like Ethiopia (+251), Malaysia (+60), Indonesia (+62), Kenya (+254), Vietnam (+84) and others.
However, these codes do not necessarily mean that the calls are also originating from these countries as we all know Whatsapp calls originate over the internet. According to some media reports, these international numbers are sold by agencies to scammers in the country.
Multiple users have also reported about the new scam on microblogging site Twitter
“Okay seriously its getting out of hands!!! I have been getting these scam @WhatsApp calls from Unknown international numbers all day. Please take needed actions as all my friends have also reported the same!,” wrote one user in a Twitter post.
3) What should WhatsApp users do?
Ans) These calls are received by WhatsApp users out of the blue. It is advisable, at the moment, to simply ignore or reject the calls. Users can also block and report these numbers. If you unblock a contact, you won’t receive any messages, calls, or status updates the contact sent you during the time they were blocked.
To block a number on WhatsApp, open a chat with the contact, then tap More > Block > Block. You can also report the contact by tapping Report contact > Block.
Alternatively, you can open the app and tap on More options > Settings. Here, tap on Privacy > Blocked contacts. Tap Add here and search for or select the contact you want to block.
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