Can scammers hack your phone if you answer their calls, or call back?!
Take a look at the viral claim, and find out what the facts really are!
Claim : Scammers Can Hack Your Phone If You Call Back!
People are sharing this advice about scammers hacking your phone if you answer their calls, or call back!
Very Very Urgent …
Please pass this message to your family and friends NOW.
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Truth : Scammers Cannot Hack Your Phone If You Call Back!
This is yet another example of FAKE NEWS circulating on WhatsApp and social media platforms, and here are reasons why…
Fact #1 : This Is Old Fake News
First, let me just point out that this fake message isn’t even new. It has been circulating on WhatsApp and social media platforms since April 2020, if not earlier.
Fact #2 : This Hoax Is Based On One Ring / Wangiri Scam
This hoax appears to be based on the 2019 FCC warning about the “One Ring” or “Wangiri” scam, where scammers use robocall devices to give victims a miss call, in hopes that they would call back and get charged for Pay-Per-Call services.
The Federal Communications Commission is alerting consumers to reported waves of “One Ring” or “Wangiri” scam robocalls targeting specific area codes in bursts, often calling multiple times in the middle of the night. These calls are likely trying to prompt consumers to call the number back, often resulting in per minute toll charges similar to a 900 number. Consumers should not call these numbers back.
Recent reports indicate these calls are using the “222” country code of the West African nation of Mauritania. News reports have indicated widespread overnight calling in New York State and Arizona.
Generally, the One Ring scam takes place when a robocaller calls a number and hangs up after a ring or two. They may call repeatedly, hoping the consumer calls back and runs up a toll that is largely paid to the scammer.
Consumer Tips: · Do not call back numbers you do not recognize, especially those appearing to originate overseas. · File a complaint with the FCC if you received these calls: www.fcc.gov/complaints · If you never make international calls, consider talking to your phone company about blocking outbound international calls to prevent accidental toll calls. · Check your phone bill for charges you don’t recognize.
This scam, however, does not involve hacking any phone. It only requires you to call back the number, which is a Pay-Per-Call service.
Once you call back, you will get charged a premium rate, as the scammers try to keep you on the line for as long as possible.
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Fact #3 : Scammers Cannot Hack Phone Through Calls
It is simply not possible to hack your phone through a voice call, even if you’re using VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol), or apps like WhatsApp or Telegram.
What is possible though is voice phishing, also known as vishing. This is a form of social engineering, where scammers pose as a bank or police officer (or someone with authority) to obtain your bank account information, or trick you into transferring money into their bank accounts.
Fact #4 : 90# Telephone Scam Only Works With PBX / PABX
The #90 or 90# scam is a very old phone scam that only works on business landline phones that use a PBX (Private Branch Exchange) or PABX (Private Automatic Branch Exchange) system. Here is the official US FCC warning about this scam.
In this very old scam, the scammer pretends to be a telco employee looking into a technical problem with your phone lines, and asks you to help him by either mailing 90# or transferring the call to an outside line. If you do that, you will enable the scammer to place premium-rate calls that will billed to your phone number.
To be clear – these codes do NOT work on mobile phones or smartphones, because they do not run on PBX or PABX systems.
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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.
He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.
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