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Calling back to an anonymous number would lead your SIM being cloned- Another baseless story from TOI

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Just came across a breaking news article of Times of India–  advices Indian mobile subscribers not to respond to the calls from the numbers starting with +92. This is not a new information-Responding back to these numbers can burn your pocket (International call to Pakistan), but now TOI says it would lead to your SIM card being cloned !!. The report is based on the quotes of an intelligence officer. The story continues ..

The menace that threatens to steal the subscriber’s information stored in the phone or external memory (SIM, memory & data cards) has a very scary side as well. Once cloned, the culprits can well use the cloned copy to make calls to any number they wish to. This exposes the subscribers to the threat of their connection being used for terror calls

Can you believe that just a missed call or a call to a phone can clone your SIM card with all contacts and data from the phone memory? Just a fabricated story without any technological backup as usual. I wonder several web portals including popular IT magazines have re-published the same article without going through the technical aspects. SIM cards are duplicable but with the help of a SIM card copiers only.

Repeating the popular #09 and #90 hoax .

#09 #90 scam

This is an alert issued by BSNL to warn their customers which got widespread popularity through emails and social networks. Do you think that such a technique exists? The story is totally baseless in terms of mobile users and it has been proved as a hoax.

Just search #90 #09 Hoax in Google, you will get more details about that. In early 90s scammers used to hijack fixed line PBX extensions by using this technique . In some PBX systems the code #90 or #09 were used to transfer the calls from an external tie line to another another line. In some PBX systems 0 is the access code for operator and 9 for the external line.

When someone calls on a PBX and asking the recipient to  dial flash then 90# or 09#, will give the caller a dial tone from another open outside line (This is applicable only if the PBX is connected with multiple external lines) The caller can now make long distance calls that are charged to the  recipient. To work this technique following conditions are required to be satisfied

  • The PBX system must support 9 for external line.
  • Line to Line transfer facility must be enabled on the system.
  • Outgoing long distance call must be enabled on the connected line.

This technique will not workout in mobile phones and residential land phones.

Several mobile subscribers have complained that after calling to some numbers their mobile balance get exhausted, obviously outgoing calls to premium international numbers can drain out the balance within few seconds. Instead of investigating the matters technically  the so called telecom intelligence agencies are also interested in spreading baseless stories.

Two years back a mobile explosion story in Assam had got wide attention through SMS, social networks  and even through visual/print media.Several people claimed that attending a call from an unknown number caused handset explosion.Few people even got admitted to hospital also. A detailed investigation revealed that it was an Indian version of a  Keniyan hoax.

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3 comments… add one
  • Good article Sujith.

    Recently, I started getting a lot of calls from the foreign number starting with 92. At some point of time, we called back but no one answered. In a couple of days, we found we lost almost 250 Rs from our phone. I searched in Google and found the story in Times of India. Even though it was hard to believe, I kind of started believing the #92 guys have some methods to use our prepaid balance.

    However, after couple of phone calls we realized the money was gone for a completely different reason. We had switched to an iPhone at about the same time and it had the Internet always ON which drained our account balance.

    I asked specifically about the #92 calls and Airtel confirmed the potential fraud is, they will ask for bank details and other personal details saying we have won some lottery. They denied any possibilities of SIM cloning etc.

  • Biswajit
  • Nazim Bavania

    Today I recieved a call from pakistan +92 nd by mistake I call backed they told me about some lottery and immediately I used to disconnect that call please tell me what to do?

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