There seems to be a cell phone scam going around, where someone tries to get you to shutdown or switch off your cell phone. If you switch off your cellphone, your relatives will then receive messages that you have been kidnapped.
When your relatives try to contact you, they won’t be able to (because your phone is off).
Anyway, here’s a copy of that warning message now making the rounds in various inboxes…
Its all started when I received a call from someone claiming that he was from [cell phone service provider] and he asked me to shutdown my phone for 2 hours for 3g update to take place. As I was rushing for a meeting, I did not question and shutdown my cell phone.
After 45 minutes I felt very suspicious since the caller did not even introduce his name. I quickly turned on my cell phone and I received several calls from my family members and the others were from the number that had called me earlier – [xxxxxxx].
I called my parents and I was shocked that they sounded very worried asking me whether I am safe. My parents told me that they had received a call from someone claiming that they had me with them and asking for money to let me free. The call was so real and my parents even heard ‘my voice’ crying out loud asking for help. My parent was at the bank waiting for next call to proceed for money transfer. I told my parents that I am safe and asked them to lodge a police report.
Right after that I received another call from the guy asking me to shutdown my cell phone for another 1 hour which I refused to do and hung up. They keep calling my cell phone until the battery had run down. I myself lodged a police report and I was informed by the officer that there were many such scams reported. MOST of the cases reported that the victim had already transferred the money! And it is impossible to get back the money.
Be careful as this kind of scam might happened to any of us!!! Those guys are so professional and very convincing during calls. If you are asked to shut down your cell phone for updates by the service provider, ASK AROUND! Your family or friends might receive the same call.
Be Safe and Stay Alert!
Please warn your relatives, just in case they themselves receive some “advisory” stating that they have to switch off their cellphones.
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First posted on Thursday, 01 Apr 2010