May 052008

Ishrat Hyatt

Mobile phones are both a boon and a bane and for those who use them on a regular basis they are becoming an item of use they cannot do without for even a minute, which is a good thing for fraudulent users of this technology — they can come up with one new trick after another to try and swindle a few rupees’ balance onto their own numbers. There have been messages with a ‘double your balance’ offer, which made all your balance disappear instead of doubling it! There have been offers of winning huge prizes if you transferred a set amount into the one sending the message or another given number, which was obviously a trick worked by using two SIMS or in cahoots with a partner and so on.

These days messages appealing to your generous nature or religious beliefs are being used to get you to put money into another account. It starts off by saying, in Roman script, that the message sender does not know who you are but he-she is in great trouble (museebath) and in hospital. The person asks for Rs15 only and says if you believe in ‘Allah and Rasool-e-Pak’ you will send the money, concluding with ‘Rs10 plz’

Now the number obviously comes on your phone and the appeal may be a genuine one but as far as I am concerned it is a form of begging when it comes in such a manner as you do not know who’s at the receiving end.

The amount is insignificant and most people will not mind transferring it but it does encourage begging and should not be carried out. With every Tom, Dick and Harry owning a mobile phone these days — beggars on the road and in bazaars send messages to each other when they feel they have tapped a softhearted person so that their colleagues in the business (that’s what it is) can benefit too — sending money in this manner is neither a good idea nor a safe one. If the person has your number, maybe he-she will pester you again and again until you are forced to change it. Of-course you can always ignore the message but it is irritating to get too many messages and especially those which are repeated ad nauseum! And speaking of begging there is another story to be told next time!
Courtesy: The News, 5/5/2008

 Posted by at 7:23 am

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