Beware of international call forwarding fraud

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A mobile phone has become the lifeline of every individual who owns one, simply because it provides a portable solution to communicate with the rest of the world. In the earlier days, a mobile phone only gave the option of calling and sending short messages. However, with the passage of time, the advent of technology made many more things possible as well, like accessing the internet and making video calls. But as is the case with every new development, there were upsides as well as downsides, and the most significant one among the latter to have surfaced recently is the international call forwarding scam. This crime has become a grave matter of concern for mobile phone owners, since it puts their personal as well as financial security in question.

The way this scam is carried out is one person's SIM card is stolen by a thief, who diverts the mobile phone number to an international switchboard. By doing this, he can route international calls to anywhere in the world via the switchboard. Both data as well as voice SIM cards having international roaming / calling services activated on them. Coming to the other side, a person who has been a victim of this scam will not have received calls, but numerous international calls would have been credited to his/her account. So, anyone who has international roaming and calling activated on their mobile phone are susceptible to being affected by this scam, and the reason why the person would not have received calls is because all the calls coming in to his/her mobile phone would have been diverted to international numbers.

The most negative impact of such an occurrence is that a person would have to pay an exorbitant amount of money as bills for the international calls that have been done fraudulently by somebody else. In order to minimise the damage caused in case a person is faced with such a situation, one should contact the service provider whenever the SIM card is stolen, lost or damaged. This action will hard lock the SIM card on the network. Also, international calling and roaming must be deactivated at all times whenever a person does not need it, i.e., when he/she is not travelling. Also, deactivating the call forwarding feature from the mobile phone is advisable. In order to do so, one needs to dial ##002# from the mobile phone to remove any kind of call forwarding service. Further, the SIM card pin must be activated by modifying the security settings of the phone.

In case one is not using the phone at a particular moment in time, it should be locked, since it is a protection in case the handset gets stolen. The thief would not know how to unlock it, and the SIM card can not be used for the international call forwarding fraud in such a situation. It is also necessary to keep an eye out for a sudden rise in the monthly telephone bills, and if one notices something like this, the network services provider must be contacted at the earliest.

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