Telecom operator firms Vodafone Idea, Airtel, and Reliance Jio have alerted their customers to be vigilant of KYC Fraud or “malicious elements” who threaten to detach SIM cards by illicitly asserting that the subscriber’s KYC paperwork is inaccurate, put-on hold, or invalid.
Vodafone Idea (Vi) has released an alert to its 27 crore-plus users in India to be vigilant of swindlers exploiting your personal information via the Know Your Customer (KYC) scam. This notice comes after Airtel published a similar alert regarding the increase in cyber frauds. In a letter to all consumers in India, Airtel CEO Gopal Vittal addressed how cybercriminals are hacking mobile consumers with new tricks. Likewise, the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) has cautioned that substantially all mobile subscribers are experiencing KYC-related scam SMS.
It cautioned its users not to disclose their KYC information or reveal their OTP over the phone, or click on any URL specified in the SMS.
Those who get such texts are wrongfully urged to phone a specific number or install an app on their phones.
The telecom provider additionally instructs customers not to click on any suspicious link or submit any personal content, as this could result in data and information stolen from the mobile device, which could have substantial repercussions.
However, if your cellular operator demands you to refresh your KYC, it will do so through authorized procedures rather than issuing a sloppy message with a peculiar customer care number. You need to employ vigilance when dealing with certain messages, and you should never click on the links that are presented with the message. It is typically recommended to cross-check or notified such statements so that the firm can produce an alert.
What is VIP Number Fraud?
Besides eKYC fraud, mobile operators must be wary of another fraud: VIP number fraud. In this case, the scammer phones or provides an SMS to the customer professing to be from Airtel and convincing great discounted VIP numbers. The scammers want a prepaid amount as a token/booking sum as part of the process. The scammer disappears after getting these payments.
What Does the Fraud SMS on eKYC Say?
The SMS warns subscribers of service suspension unless they produce papers for eKYC validation by contacting a specific number within 24 hours of getting the message. The text of the SMS reads-
“Dear customer, Your Vodafone SIM e-KYC Pending Documents. Call Vodafone helpline no 786XXXXX immediately. Your mobile no. will be stopped 24hr.”
How to Identify Fraud Message?
It was noted in June that such texts were being conveyed to Airtel and Jio customers as well. Numerous Twitter users observed that when they attempted to contact the number specified in the text, they were prompted to furnish their personal information.
Particularly, such texts always contain far too many errors. They either possess spelling errors, unrealistic packages, incorrect use of company terminologies or employ an excessive number of special characters. A corporation as huge as Vodafone, Airtel, or Jio would not create such obvious errors in messages to its customers.
“All user interaction from the firm is done principally through the SMS ID ‘ViCARE.’ Any SMS that is responded upon that does not emanate from ‘ViCARE’ is obviously exempted,”