Yesterday afternoon, at around three, I received a missed call in my cellphone. I checked the number: +923234984129. It’s from Pakistan. I really don’t pay much attention to missed calls, so I simply ignored this.
This morning, I received another missed call from Pakistan. The phone number this time was +923227135365. I thought that someone back home is trying to reach me. Although it has never occurred that a family member would just give a missed call, I still had doubts – those ‘what if ‘ moments that you just can’t shake your mind off from.
So I logged into Yahoo Messenger and dialed the number.
Me: Assalam o Alaikum
Him: Walaikum Assalam.
Me: You just gave a missed call at a Dubai number. May I know who this is, please?
Him: Which number, Madam? I don’t give missed calls. May I have your name?
Me: Since you just dialed my number a minute ago, I’m assuming you know my number.
Him: You’re not calling from Dubai (remember I used Yahoo Messenger).
Me: Yes, I am.
Him: We call 5,000 numbers each day. How would I remember?
Me: Oh? You call 5,000 people?!
Him: This is Etisalat’s call center and we are trying to reach subscribers who have won the lottery. Now, can you tell me your name, please?
Me: Where is your office located?
Him: Sharjah. My name is Imran Hashmi and I would need to register your name and mobile number.
Me: If you’re an Etisalat agent, why are you using a Pakistani mobile number?
Before he would even answer, I gave the phone over to Masood, who dealt with him appropriately before ending the call.
Later at work, I learned that almost all of my colleagues have received such missed calls from Pakistan. One of them heard over the radio about a man who, in his excitement of having won the lottery, gave away his bank account details to the caller and lost all his money in the bank.
Can’t believe people still fall for fraud like these.