Over the last one week, I have been regularly getting a call from this number, mainly at odd hours – around midnight or wee hours in the morning, early in the morning. I checked on the net, this code +37 is from some unknown country, Estonia. May be if I had the ISD facility on my cell, I would have called, but since I don’t have, I didn’t bother to call that number back. Once when the phone was in normal mode, ringing was very brief, may be 3 secs. Then I thought someone is deliberately giving me a brief missed call to call them back. Unlike my normal tendency, this time I neglected.
Same evening, one of my friend Mr.N called me, he said he is got trapped in a scam; I thought he is kidding as it is the seasons of scams all over the place. I thought he is talking about one of those scams or making fun of the characters involved there. Then he said, he has been getting calls from +37, I became alert. He is also been getting lot of missed calls from this number, again at around 3:30 AM – 4:30 AM. For 3 days, he is not taken them seriously, but 2 days back, while talking to his wife, he has mentioned about this. Casually, she has asked him to return the call and check what is the issue? Again yesterday, again he got a call at 4:30 AM, since he was given permission to return the call, he has called that number. In no time, someone has picked and greeted him, and surprisingly, the guy on the other side is an Indian, Rahul Sharma, he says he is in Mumbai.
Why that guy is trying to reach him? He says there is an offer from NOKIA for giving away some Mobile Phone to privilege callers. Why calling at unearthly odd hours? Because the scheme gets over by 6 AM Indian time. When Rahul asked him for his mobile no, being alert, Mr.N has asked him to check his call registry, but Rahul being the ringmaster, it would take time to find the number, since the offer is coming to close at 6AM, and he would want the details quickly. Mr.N meekly has given his number and postal address. Meanwhile, Mr.N has figured out the guy on the other side is operating out of a call centre as there was lot of activity around him.
Mr.N is a very smart cookie, voracious reader of English fiction and classic, after having his morning coffee, his regular brain started reflecting the incident, has checked his call register, and he has spoken for 9 minutes. He has gone on the net and tried tracing the number; no details are available except that it is from a service provider in Estonia. Now, his mind starts working, wondering why someone has called him to give him a NOKIA mobile phone, it has dawned on him - it is a SCAM.
Only consolation is, he has not shared any bank or card details. He is now wondering on how it could impact him.
1. Easy way, the call he returned can be a Paid call, which charges the caller exorbitantly, and pass on a cut to scamster.
2. Since he has shared his name and phone number, they may map and try to hack his online accounts
I know, I am making it look very funny, but he is quite angry with himself on how he being so aware of the technologies and tricks of these scamsters, can fall prey for one.
As I am writing this, I remember one incident in which one of my close friends had fallen prey for such spams. Couple of years back, one fine day, he received a mail from someone offering him a very good job in one of the British companies with a fat pay (really, it is mindblowing no). The sender was again a very intelligent fellow, in the mail he had mentioned that he has met this Mr.S in some conference, has evaluated him and found him suitable for the post. Mr.S wanted a break in his career; he exchanged some mails, even had a telephonic conversation and then decided to take the job. His plan was to go to UK alone, leaving his family back home. But, somehow I was not convinced with the mail and contents. My take was – how can a company offer such a huge salary without proper scrutiny. Since it was a very big move for him, I asked him to check their website, get their number and call the company directly. When he called, he got the shock of his life; there is no one with that name there.
It is tumultuous period for the guys who get struck in one.