Don’t share personal info on phone: TRA

By Kabeer Yousuf — MUSCAT: Feb. 5 – The Telecom Regulatory Authority (TRA) has cautioned the public against sharing personal data on the telephone with those claiming to be from a bank or a telecom company. “They may ask you for your personal details under the guise of updating your bank details, but don’t fall prey to such callers,” TRA told the telecom subscribers in a statement.
It has asked them not to share details such as the bank account number, PIN or passwords.
“Don’t fall prey to callers claiming to be representatives of a bank or a telecom company that you have won a mega prize,” said a TRA spokesperson. Take precautionary measures before you entertain such calls, he said.
Also beware of those asking you to update bank details or seek personal details by claiming they are from a bank or a telecom company, said the spokesperson.
He said the statement comes in the wake of a number of complaints every day. “There have been a flurry of complaints about such fraudsters every day from different regions of the country.” Khalid Kush, an expatriate living in Muscat, was taken by surprise by an Arabic-speaking caller. “She wanted my account details. When I asked why, she said a surprise was in store for me if I could share account details. I cut the call immediately as I didn’t want to take chances.”
An engineer was lured into transferring RO 800 to an unknown account recently. In another case, a housewife ended up losing RO 18,000 when she tried to claim a non-existing one-million rial prize. Both were victims of calls made by fraudsters.
“These fraudsters, who speak various Asian languages as well as Arabic, will first convince the victim of their authenticity by asking them to check their SIM pouch for a unique identification number,” said a senior official at the Crime Investigation Squad.
A common man wouldn’t know the unique identification number for a particular telecommunications company is the same on all SIM cards.