On WhatsApp is running a message inviting users not to answer calls coming from numbers with Kosovo prefix, but it is a hoax
New message-scam on WhatsApp: for a few days on the messaging application has gone viral a message inviting users not to call back some numbers with foreign prefix. The message refers to calls from Tunisia, Kosovo and Moldova.
As often happens in these cases, this is a hoax created to create alarmism among Italians. WhatsApp is a very useful tool, it allows you to stay in touch with people who live on the other side of the world without spending a single euro, but it can become a very dangerous application if used for criminal purposes. By now we should be used to this type of messages, but there are still many people who read and share them immediately within WhatsApp groups. The process is identical to that of the chain letters that now invade daily WhatsApp chats.
What is written in the WhatsApp message
The text of the message is very simple: "They are coming in volleys from +216 (Tunisia) +373 (Kosovo) +383 (Moldova). They only make one ring. If you answer or call back, they automatically start you on a €7/week subscription to gaming sites from which it's almost impossible to cancel. Give it a spin." The message is written in perfect Italian, which helps to confuse people and make them think it's real. In reality, it's not. Apart from the fact that no security body has reported this increase in calls from foreign area codes, answering the calls does not incur any charges for the user. While there might be some problems if you decide to call back.
The dangers for users
Behind the area codes +216, +373 and +383 very often hide paid services. If we receive a call from one of these numbers and decide to call them back, it could actually lead to the activation of a paid service at a cost of seven euros per week. These subscriptions-scams, however, can be quickly deactivated by calling the customer service of your phone company and asking for the return of the seven euros.
Very often to run these messages are the same companies that sell subscription services: it serves to profile users for future campaigns. The misinformation, unfortunately, takes sap from applications such as WhatsApp, where to run a message-fraud and suggest thousands of users just a few seconds.