Posted on August 20, 2019

Qatar’s leading telecommunications operator today advised customers to be aware of a new trend in scam calling, for the usual purposes of extorting money or stealing personal details.

Fraudsters are now using VoIP to make calls purporting to be from telecoms operators such as Ooredoo, making them look like regular GSM calls by showing the customer a landline number – often a +974 number – to convince the call recipient they are genuine. While the reasons for the call remain the same, the use of VoIP to make these calls makes it more difficult for authorities to trace the source of the call.

Scam calls made in this way have the same purpose as other scam calls; to find a way of getting customers to transfer funds or credit, and to steal personal information. While Ooredoo recognises it is often difficult to tell whether a call purporting to be from Ooredoo is genuine or not, it offers pointers for customers to consider when a call is received. Are they expecting a call from Ooredoo? Is the call about something the operator would be likely to call about? Is the number recognised? And what is the caller asking for? Ooredoo stresses it will never ask customers for any personal details such as passwords or financial details, and of course will never ask for money.

Yusuf Abdulla Al Kubaisi, Chief Operating Officer, Ooredoo Qatar, said of the new trend: “We know fraudsters are using ever more sophisticated techniques to extort money and steal personal information, and this is a phenomenon seen worldwide across all industries and markets. At Ooredoo, we are completely committed to keeping our customers and their data safe, and we are constantly working to combat any and all attempts to compromise our customers’ data security. We ask that our customers remain vigilant, and please get in touch with us if ever they have any doubt at all about calls they receive.”

Customers who have any doubt whatsoever about the veracity of a call purporting to be from Ooredoo are encouraged to get in touch immediately by calling 111, emailing or or by visiting any Ooredoo shop around town.