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Beware of *401# Scam Calls: Telecom Department Warns Mobile Users



Beware of *401# Scam Calls: Telecom Department Warns Mobile Users

Imagine this: Your phone rings, and it’s someone claiming to be your friendly telecom representative. They say there’s a hiccup in your network, but fear not, a simple fix exists! All you need to do is dial a magic code, “*401#,” followed by a suspicious number they provide. Sounds harmless, right? Wrong. This, my friends, is a cunning new scam targeting mobile users, and the Department of Telecom (DoT) is sounding the alarm.

According to the DoT, a fraudster will make a call to a telecom subscriber, posing as a customer service representative or technical support personnel from their respective telecom service provider. The caller then convinces the subscriber that there is a problem with their SIM card or an issue related to network or service quality.

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To allegedly rectify the situation, the subscriber is coerced into dialing a specific code, typically commencing with ‘*401#’ followed by an unidentified mobile number. This seemingly innocent action sets off a troubling chain of events – it activates unconditional call forwarding on the subscriber’s mobile number, redirecting all incoming calls to the unknown mobile number provided by the scammer.

The Consequences of Falling Victim

Once the call forwarding is activated, the fraudster gains access to all incoming calls intended for the subscriber. This worrisome scenario can be exploited by criminals for fraudulent purposes, making it crucial for citizens to remain vigilant and informed.

DoT’s Advisory

The Department of Telecom has left no stone unturned in emphasizing the severity of this issue. In an official statement, they strongly advised citizens to exercise caution when receiving incoming calls that prompt them to dial ‘*401#’ followed by an unknown mobile number.

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“The Department has advised citizens to beware of receiving malicious incoming calls asking them to dial *401# followed by some unknown mobile number. This activates unconditional call forwarding received on the mobile of citizens to the unknown mobile number. This allows fraudsters to receive all incoming calls and can be used for fraud,” the statement warned.

Prevention and Precaution

To safeguard against becoming victims of this scam, the DoT recommends that users never dial ‘*401#’ or any other unfamiliar codes provided by unknown callers. Instead, if users find themselves in a situation where they have inadvertently activated call forwarding due to such a scam, it is imperative to disable it promptly. Here are the steps to follow:

  • Go to the settings on your mobile phone.
  • Navigate to call settings.
  • Disable the call forwarding option or restore default settings.

By following these simple steps, users can prevent their calls from being forwarded to malicious actors and protect themselves from potential fraud.

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A Growing Concern

With cybercriminals becoming increasingly sophisticated in their methods, it is essential for mobile phone users to stay informed and exercise caution when dealing with unfamiliar calls and instructions. The Department of Telecom’s advisory serves as a timely reminder for citizens to remain vigilant and take steps to protect their privacy and security in the digital age.


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