If you’re on the Airtel Network platform, you might have received a message yesterday or today that looks like the one in the image above….
Well, social media came alive talking about the message, and even though instinct would tell you to ignore it and not call back, it became a big deal over night, with Airtel addressing this issue in the following statement:
‘Airtel Networks Zambia Plc would like to inform its esteemed customers and the general public that the SMSs being received from +2454034278, +2454034307, +352679980239 and +37122782403 requesting them to “call back” are not from Airtel.
We would like to inform all our customers to disregard such SMSs. Customers are also advised not to call the said numbers or provide any personal details.
Customers are further advised to heed this caution as Airtel will not be held liable for any loss suffered by customers should they engage with the perpetrators of this scam.
Issued by the Corporate Communications Department
For further information or queries:
Contact us through our call centre on 111 or email us on email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org‘.
So there, there. No need to get your knickers in a twist over it. It’s spam. Delete it, and move on. Also you can block the number by ticking it off in your reject list. That should help.
+352 is the area code for Florida in the United States of America, +245 is for Guinea Bissau, and +371 is Latvia’s, if you were wondering. It seems likely that this problem has happened before in other countries, not just Zambia. From as way back as 2012, Hoax Slayer reported that these spam messages defraud recipients of their airtime as the call is charged as an international one, and the hackers get a portion of the charge. We don’t know how or how much. It may be a minimal amount per person, but how many people are calling back? Probably thousands.
The numbers in the text we received (see image) are not on Airtel’s official list in this statement, meaning there are more spammers than they think. Same advice though; delete/ignore/reject.