The Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI)’s advisory comes a day after Vodafone-Idea issued a similar warning asking users not to respond to such messages and calls.

Mobile user
Money Telecom Friday, July 30, 2021 - 19:31

The Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) has issued a public advisory asking users not to reply to fraudulent SMS messages or calls relating to incomplete KYC documents. The COAI said it has been brought to its notice that mischievous elements are sending fake SMS messages and calling people, threatening to block SIM cards. 

“The messages and calls falsely claim that the customer’s KYC documents are incomplete, pending or expired. Receivers of such messages are falsely advised to call a particular number or download an app on their phones. If the false directives are followed, it can potentially lead to privacy breach or financial or data loss,” said S P Kochhar, Director General, COAI in a statement. 

“We caution the general public to beware of such fraudulent SMS messages and calls. Mobile users should not respond to these messages or calls, and not download any app or share any document or information. Users are advised to only follow messages sent by their operator from their designated SMS IDs only,” he added. 

This comes a day after Vodafone Idea (Vi) cautioned customers against such unauthorised calls and SMSes and advised them to not give their KYC details or share any OTP with anybody on a call, and not call back those numbers or click on any link mentioned in the SMS.

“It has been brought to our notice that some Vi customers are getting SMS and calls from unidentified numbers asking them to update their KYC immediately. These fraudsters, at times, disguise as company representatives and threaten unsuspecting users with SIM block if KYC is not done. They may also seek certain confidential information from customers, in the name of verification,” Vi said in a statement.   

Vi warned customers that clicking on any unverified link or sharing any details could lead to data and information theft from the mobile device, and can have other serious consequences. “All customer communication from the company is only done from the SMS ID ‘ViCARE’. Any SMS being acted upon which is not originating from ‘ViCARE’ is strictly not advisable,” the statement added. 

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