Spammers now target repatriates

Muscat: With countries opening their airspace and airports to bring back their citizens from abroad, spammers are seemingly making the maximum out of the situation.

These fraudsters are known to have calling the innocuous passengers posing either as embassy officials or airline representatives of their respective countries, asking them to part with vital information, like their passport number, resident card details and bank account number and finally the OTP (one time password) sent by the bank.

When enquired, embassies of major communities here in Oman said they call their citizens to reconfirm their willingness to travel and to assess their fitness to travel.

“We call people on the basis of their registration with us to confirm if they are okay to travel and to know if they are fit to travel. From the airlines’ side, they will be calling the potential passengers to sell the tickets and in any case no OTP is involved,” said Munu Mahawer, Indian Ambassador to the Sultanate of Oman.

“We are yet to process documentation of sending back the citizens but things are getting ready. We will not be calling people to ask for their account number or OTP in any case,” said MN Ameen, General Secretary of Bangladesh Social Club.

Airline officials too declined of having asked the passengers of any OTP as they wouldn’t need them.

“We call the passengers who are travelling on our May 9 flight or May 12 flight to book their tickets for the respective flight. In any case, we don’t need any other information including the OTP,” said an official of Air India Express.

Social workers have embarked upon a campaign to educate and alert their people not to fall prey to such callers when they are preparing for their travel home.