Fooled by SMS

Reader is taken in by an SMS that causes him to pay

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Gulf News

On August 26, I received an SMS on my phone, which appeared as though it was from du, requesting me to dial a particular number in order to hear some sort of voice message. It appeared to me like a Dh10 du receipt, which you would buy from a grocery store in order to add balance to your phone or to add data to your package.

So I dialed this number, thinking I would hear a voice message, but to my surprise, a message was displayed on my phone, thanking me for using the du interactive service, after which, I received an SMS on my phone telling me that I had transferred Dh8 from my balance to a particular number.

The message appeared to be similar to the one you would receive when dialing *135#, after which, a menu of options would appear on the screen and you would dial ‘2’ (Recharge and One2One). Then, you would select the One2One option in the same way, and dial the number you would want to transfer ‘more time’ balance to.

To my utter amazement, the original SMS disappeared — the one asking me to dial a particular number to hear a voice message. So, if I wanted to complain to du, I wouldn’t have any proof, as the original SMS wasn’t visible anymore. An SMS that I have transferred Dh8 to the mystery number was displayed, which means I have transferred my balance to that particular number, through the One2One option as mentioned above.

This angered me a lot — I just emptied my message inbox, including the message of my balance being transferred. I later realised that my mother too, received the same SMS. I’m guessing that probably all the people using du have received a similar message as spam, but only a few people like me who accepted the message would have probably been affected.

This has to be taken note of seriously, and the offender has to be punished severely. I request people to be more aware of such incidents.

From Mr Bryce D’souza

Sharjah

The management of du responds:

In response to Mr D’souza’s letter, our operations team has looked into the case and found that the spam SMS received by the customer resulted in the fraudulent transaction. Our internal fraud team is looking into the case and, alongside other teams, working towards blocking these spam text messages.

du advises all customers to be vigilant against fraudulent messages and urges all customers to verify the source of a message resulting in credit transfer ahead of taking any further action.

(Process initiation: September 19. Response from organisation: September 27. Process completion: September 27).

Editor’s note: Do you have similar issues that you would like to raise with us? You can write to us at readers@gulfnews.com.

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