Do attending WhatsApp calls from +92 numbers put you at risk? Here’s the truth

Representational image: Manorama Online

A lot of people have been messaging Manorama Online's Fact Check helpline no  8129100164 these days asking whether attending WhatsApp calls from numbers starting with ‘+92’ is risky, as scamsters may be behind such calls. Here’s what Manorama Online's probe found out:

The inquiry
In searches using keywords related to WhatsApp call frauds, Manorama came across several reports of such scams dating back to 2012 itself. On further search, they received a warning issued by BSNL to its customers in 2012, alerting them of calls being received from such numbers. It also became clear that other telecom service providers, Airtel and Vodafone, had issued customer alerts over the calls from these numbers. To get a clearer picture, we contacted Kerala Police’s Cyber Cell.

Photo: Manorama Online

Kollam Cyber Cell SI Shyam told Manorama Online Fact-Checking that one shouldn’t attend unknown WhatsApp calls from such numbers, including those starting with +92, and should block them. If they attend such calls, a special hacking application would start functioning, enabling the scamsters access to all private information stored in the mobile phone, including the gallery."

Often, we give ‘Gallery access permission’ for various needs. The same makes the task of the scamsters easy. These cyber crooks often target some quick bugs by first stealing the images, including those of women, and making nude pictures and videos using tools like Artificial Intelligence and Deep Fake, before sending the same to the victims. The telecom service providers had earlier blocked such numbers, starting with +92. But the fraudsters have resurfaced, making calls from such numbers, Shyam added.

The Cyber Cell confirmed the fraudsters were attempting to dupe people by making calls from numbers starting with +92. One should be vigilant against such scam calls and block the numbers as soon as you receive calls from them, the authorities said.

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