SMS Lottery Fraudsters Still Flourishing Even After Biometric Verification of SIMs

We once told you that text messages for “Benazir Income Support Prizes” and similar lottery prizes will vanish away after biometric verification of SIMs, however, that hasn’t happened. Instead these fraudsters are now using SMS spoofing to pose as official senders of the lucrative prizes.

While there are little chances but for those who don’t know, these fraudsters send text messages to mobile phone users — usually in rural areas — with prizes of thousands of rupees, and in return they ask for few hundred rupees in advance as processing fee. Once this advance fee is paid, fraudsters get away and never pay the promised price.

While there is no research available for such people losing their hard earned money, it is estimated that hundreds of thousands of rupees are wasted by commoners every day.

After biometric verification of almost every SIM, these fraudsters have resorted to SMS spoofing solutions readily available on the internet. With SMS Spoofing one can fake the sender ID and messages look as they are officially sent from recognized institutes.

Screenshot_2014-06-25-09-51-22.png

An old screen-grab of SMS spoofed message from archives

While we know that there is a phone number given in the body of such messages that could lead to someone as all SIMs are bio-metrically verified now, law enforcement agencies, cellular operators, PTA or anyone else are least concerned about stopping these menace fraudsters.

While we know that telecom operators have installed systems to catch marketing messages, these SMS Spoofed messages are never caught.

Here are the possible reasons, or at least of these, that SMS lottery schemes aren’t put on an end:

  • Not all unverified SIMs are blocked
  • SPAM catchers of telecom operators are flawed
  • LEAs aren’t interested in low-cost cases where fraud of only few hundred rupees is involved

If you (PTA, Telcos, LEAs ) aren’t part of the solution in stopping lottery fraudsters, then it will be assumed that you are part of problem

Unfortunately, even after the biometric verification of SIMs, these messages have not stopped and apparently no-one is putting any attention to the matter just because victims are from rural areas of the country and with less influence on the elite class that makes decision.

 

All in all, nothing is stopping these fraudsters in looting hundreds of thousands of rupees from innocent, unaware, illiterate and poor Pakistanis.

We have discussed before that biometric verification of over 100 million SIMs wasn’t going to help us stopping the terrorism, but these small crimes were definitely supposed to end. One may wonder the use of biometric verification campaign, worth over 60 million dollars and millions of hours of combined efforts of telcos and customers, if these small crimes are still prospering.

 

Tech reporter with over 10 years of experience, founder of ProPakistani.PK


  • Rashid Rupani

    Receiving such kind of messages on a daily basis e.g. Benazir Income Support Program SMS, Lottery SMS, Shopping Discounts etc. Even after complaining to Telenor and PTA!

    • Uzair Farooqi

      same here

      • Wajahat Ali Chowdry

        Well I have also received the same messages and I have reported these on the helpline and afterwards no such messages were been received by me.

        • Zawyar Ur Rehman

          Same here… get almost 3 of these each week!

    • Raja Amer Khan

      I receive weird medicine messages on my phone too. What I do is to report these messages to PTA. If anyone doesn’t know the procedure then here it is:

      Send an SMS to “9000” with following information:

      Format: Spammer’s Number Your number Detail about the sms you received.
      e.g. 03xxxxxxxxx 03xxxxxxxxx This person is sending me spam messages about a blah blah medicine.

  • Taimoor

    I got this Fraud SMS today from 8080 “Moaziz Sarif Mubarak ho app JaZZ Star Offer main TOYOTA COROLLA Jeet chuky hain. Mazeed Malomat ke Liye Call karain 0092554016114 thank you”

    • Shroze Ahmad

      Moaziz sarif Mubarak ho aap UAE Jazz Super car offer main TOYOTA COROLLA Jeet chuky hain mazeed malomat ke Liye cal karain 0092554016114 thank you

  • Arslan Ejaz

    This is what i recevied today and look at the english…….ROFL :D

    • Umair_CL

      pink english best english

  • Khurram ShahzAd

    Plus few days ago, I received a call that you won 500 thousand. Means someway someone have bypassed the verification and his sim is not his name and doing all the frauds using that. Means some sims have not been blocked or there is some manual override of sim blocking available to employees of certain cell phone company. And this manual override is being abused.

  • Zahid Iqbal

    Yah! I receive yesterday a prize win call from a telenor number=> fraudster

  • Ali

    I even get msg even without spoofing.

  • Ahmed Habib

    now they started phone calls to our PTCL numbers!

    • Arslan Ejaz

      really…..??????

  • Muhammad Aamir

    I’m very thankful to the scammers because I can easily identify their fake messages by seeing their dead English. :)

  • Dill Dar

    I received a call from +310 on my zong number. They said that i won 500000 Rs .and they said that they tell me other detail by calling from other number. And they disconnect call and then call me from other zong number and said me to send my id card number and other details by sms.

  • Salman Qamar

    There is no doubt that a huge portion is paid to corresponding telecom.

  • Ali

    Bros and sisters Send these no. to 9000 (PTA Spam Control)

    space space add you message then send it to 9000

  • Even if we see no material benefit of the sim verification drive, the money spent is worth it. Because verified numbers are far better than non-verified.

  • I received phone calls from “unknown” numbers on all phones in my house. People have you also received them?

  • Mohsin Hashmi

    I sent a text to 668 just to check how many SIMs do I have against my number, still I own 4 sims of which only one belong to me :@ soo much for bio-metric verification!!!!

  • Sarmad

    And mobile companies are behaving as patron of these looters because if any customer contact helpline for complaints against fraud message, then complaint is noted by telecom operator but fraudster is warned not fraudulent number is not blocked. That’s totally cheat sheet by telecom violating rule of law. Fraudulent numbers must be blocked instead of warning. What does mean to warn? will loot accept your warning sign and will stop such activities ?

  • Zaman

    Dear Aamir, if you have a solution to stop SMS Spoofing than please share…..and how you state that CMOs are involved in it or not?

  • Waleed

    today morning iam received this SMS Its our system

  • Ibrahim Khan

    I got this Fraud SMS today from 8655 “Moaziz sarif Mubarak ho aap UAE Jazz Super car offer main TOYOTA COROLLA Jeet chuky hain mazeed malomat ke Liye cal karain 0092554016114 thank you”

  • MM Hayat

    moaziz sarif mubarak ho aap
    telenor lucky draw 2016 main Toyota Corolla Car Jeet Chukey Hain Car
    hasil krnaey k laye caontact krain 03490677425 today received this SMS