DOT – Warning raised against the Secret Code *401#**


The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) issued a warning regarding a secret code that scammers are using to exploit to deceive people and cause financial harm. The DoT advisory highlighted the dangers which are associated with dialing the secret code: *401#

DOT-What is *401# call forwarding scam

The Department of Telecom (DoT) has recently cautioned telecom subscribers against dialing *401# followed by an unfamiliar mobile number, as doing so may expose them to potential cyber fraud.

“This activates unconditional call forwarding received on the mobile of citizens to the unknown mobile number. This allows fraudsters to receive all incoming calls and can be used for fraud,” mentioned DoT in an advisory.


How are scammers using the number to rob smartphone users?

Scammers are typically initiating a call, pretending to be customer care representatives of telecom service providers. They will inform the victim about a purported fault in their SIM card and will be threatening to deactivate their number within a few hours. The scammers provide a code, often *401#, along with a specific mobile number to the users to cure the concern, which actually will rob their details.

Also, Read What is a Whale Phishing Scam?

How the scam works

  • Scammers, often posing as mobile service providers or IT professionals, call unsuspecting victims and convince them to dial *401# followed by a certain number.
  • This code activates call forwarding, redirecting all incoming calls (including crucial ones like those from banks or OTP Services to the scammer’s phone.
  • Scammers aim to intercept sensitive information like bank account details, OTPs (one-time passwords), or personal verification codes to commit financial fraud or identity theft.

What are the consequences of dialing the code *401#**

If you dial the provided code, call forwarding will be activated without restrictions, which will divert all incoming calls to the scammers. This breach of privacy will not only compromise your data but will also expose individuals to potential misuse by fraudsters.

Important things to keep in mind

This code activates call forwarding, redirecting all incoming calls (including crucial ones like those from banks or
or OTP Service to the scammer’s phone.

Regularly check your phone’s call forwarding settings to ensure they haven’t been tampered with unknowingly.

If you find any suspicious forwarding, disable it immediately.

Keep updated about common scams and their tactics through awareness campaigns and reliable sources.

Share information about this scam with family and friends to raise awareness and protect them from potential harm.

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