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HomeCyber CrimeFraud Alert! Picking Calls From ‘Toll-Free’ Numbers May Cost Dearly

Fraud Alert! Picking Calls From ‘Toll-Free’ Numbers May Cost Dearly

The fraudsters seem to have got a new shot in the arm in the New Year. According to their new modus operandi, they procure a phone number that is similar to a toll-free number usually used by banks for communicating to their costumers.

Bank of Baroda (BOB) has already started warning its customers about this fraud. This type of cheating is known as social engineering fraud. Explaining this, the fraudsters take mobile numbers similar to toll free numbers of financial institutions and save the number on apps such as TrueCaller with the name of the institution.

For example: 800-123-1234 is a number taken by the fraudsters in lieu of 1800-123-1234, which is a toll-free number. They can call or ask you to dial into this number and ask for your personal and account information.

“Before dialling please ensure number starts with 1 (for domestic calls) and is indeed a toll-free number. Bank will never call customers from these toll-free numbers,” the Bank says. has found out that sometimes these fraudsters post their own mobile numbers on fake websites as the customer care number of a bank or financial institute. They pay money to show the webpage at the top of search detais.

However, since we know the actual numbers of banks and financial institutes, our webmaster removes such messages posted as comment. Further, every time we warn readers not to share any personal detail like email ID and mobile number on any public platform where it can be misused by someone.

Bank of Baroda warning is quite serious. And it also has raised some questions on KYC that is being done or operated by telecom operators.

And we all know that, all telecom companies sell not just SIM cards but earn more money by labeling some numbers as premium or fancy or lucky number, with 0 as last few digits or a sequence ending with numbers such as 1122 or 6633 and so on.

Although not all numbers sold by telecom companies fall into the ‘premium’ category, they still attract a heavy price.

The numbers have to be fancy and attractive and it can be anything starting from the date of birth or anniversary date or any specific date that is somewhere connected to the customer’s life.

 However, there is the other category of buyers, who want specific numbers only, for example, a number matching with the toll-free number of an entity, preferably a bank. Bank of Baroda’s toll-free number for domestic customers is 1800-102-4455.

In this case, the fraudster would try and buy a number starting with 800 and ending with 4455. Usually, most customers will not notice a change in three digits in the middle and would end up calling the fraudsters thinking that it is the Bank’s number.

And this has been told several times that no bank or bank official calls any customer, to know their personal details. The basic reason is that the customer would have given all the details while opening their account and it would be already in the records of the bank.

“Bank staff will never ask for confidential information like card verification value (CVV), personal identification number (PIN), one time passcode (OTP) or debit card details. The fraudsters seek such details only. Never share any such confidential information with anyone,” Bank of Baroda says.

Fraudsters are taking advantage of this ignorance of people and are seeking informations like full name or name on the card, expiry date of the card, ATM PIN, secure password and even net banking ID and password besides some personal information like date of birth.

We all need to understand that there is no possible solution, which can help to save its customers from all such frauds. The only thing that can save us is our awareness. Before clicking any link, making any transaction, or replying to any email do think twice. And always check the official websites of every institution. This may save you and your hard-earned money from falling in to the hands of the fraudsters

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