NTA cautions against fake mobile calls

Kathmandu, April 15

Nepal Telecommunications Authority has appealed to mobile users not to entertain any phone call or message from unusual/unknown numbers originating abroad.

With mobile users of different service providers receiving calls, primarily missed calls, from unknown foreign numbers in recent days, the telecommunications sector regulator has urged the public to remain alert for such calls.

According to NTA, mobile users have been receiving calls, especially from numbers such as +442349273588 and +4874441190 in recent days. Along with phone calls, especially one-ring calls, mobile users receive a subsequent message link from such numbers.

“These phone calls are fake. Even I received such calls recently,” Min Prasad Aryal, spokesperson for NTA, said. While simply getting missed calls or messages from such numbers do no harm, customers stand to lose their balance if they call back or open the message link. “We have learnt that by redialling such numbers, mobile users can lose up to $20 per minute,” said Aryal.

It is not the first time that mobile users are receiving calls and messages from unusual numbers. In July, mobile users had received phone calls, which were basically one-ring calls, from unknown numbers originating in Poland.

Cellphone subscribers had also received calls of similar nature in the past, in which they were given fake information of winning some international lottery. Some had even reported receiving verbal threats during such calls.

Aryal said NTA was investigating the increasing cases of fake calls from unusual numbers in recent years in coordination with the Nepal Police. NTA has also directed telecom service providers to immediately block any unusual phone calls within their network.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on April 16, 2020 of The Himalayan Times.