Madagascar: Madagascar scam: Stay alert against missed calls in Kolkata | Kolkata News

Madagascar: Madagascar scam: Stay alert against missed calls in Kolkata | Kolkata News

KOLKATA: A missed call scam involving an international pay-per-call number, that has been in existence since 2018, seems to have reared its head again in the country with a couple of netizens receiving such calls.
However, even as no police complaint has been filed, cyber experts in the city have warned users to be wary about responding to calls from odd numbers.
It’s known as Madagascar scam, where calls come from +261 (there are numerous other numbers originating from other nations, too), said cops. These calls arrive at odd times and often get disconnected after one or two rings, not giving the receiver enough time to answer the call. The call appears in the possible victim’s phone log as a missed call thus tempting them to call back, especially if they have relatives staying or travelling to foreign shores.
Once the targeted victim calls back, a voice says, “Hello, you have reached the operator, please hold.” Even as the victim does that patiently, he or she gets charged per minute as per international call rates.
“These calls are often made through cloud applications using session initiation technology. This makes not only the victim lose money, even the government exchequer is a loser. It is impossible to link from where these calls have been initiated,” said Bivas Chatterjee, special public prosecutor and a cyber expert.
“This is one of the oldest tricks used by fraudsters. But its return only mean that they are looking for new targets. The cost for the calls can be in the hundreds of dollars for even one call,” said a retired cyber crime officer, who now works with a leading bank as its cyber security officer.
Experts claim that those who call from the mother-end get an incentive to keep the victim on the line as long as possible.

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