Beware SMS lottery frauds are spreading tentacles

Despite repeated alerts from the telecom regulatory authorities, telecom service providers and banking institutions, a large number of mobile phone subscribers are falling prey to SMSs that offer them sizable amounts in fake lotteries.
Recently two expatriates revealed receiving such messages. They, however, acted promptly and got the callers’ telephone numbers blocked by the telecom provider.
But this is not the case with everyone as such callers target mainly the blue caller workers who have a little exposure to education and local law.
The gentlemen mentioned above hold managerial positions in two different organisations and do not want their names to be revealed.
The practice of SMSs that declare the receivers the winners of a sizable amount in lottery is going on for a quite long time.
Competent authorities have successfully taken action in some cases also. Almost every mobile phone holder receives such messages off and on. It is interesting, however, to understand the way they operate.
Two blue callers workers managed to record whole conversation after receiving ‘prize lottery message’. One of them lost RO 90 in the process of “winning RO 20,000” as suggested by the fraud SMS sender and caller.
But the other worker preferred not to deposit the amount upon receiving the lottery SMSs and calls from the fraud operators. He pretended to be ‘in trap’ and recorded the full conversation between him and the operators in his mobile phone.
“The caller asked me to go to the CDM and explained how to deposit money against a mobile number. I, however, gave them an impression that I reached a wrong CDM and asked for more time, to get the whole conversation recorded,” he said.
“He asked me to deposit RO 150. I expressed my inability to pay RO 150 and said I had only RO 70 at the moment.
The caller then pretended talking to his boss and said I could deposit RO 70 now and the rest after winning the lottery.” This worker somehow managed to get rid of the caller without losing any money.
We understand that the fraud operators tell the ‘prospective winners’ to recharge a given mobile number, ranging from RO 5 to 150, either through cash deposit machines (CDM) or sending the recharge numbers verbally.
By this they create a huge rechargeable fund.
Then the fraud operators work as ‘distributors’ of mobile recharge, taking advantage of credit transfer facility,” said another victim.