I’ve seen several Facebook posts and even received numerous voice notes on WhatsApp over the last few days warning people from answering phone calls from numbers starting with “+7” or “007”, because they can steal all your credits if you a have a prepaid line or overcharge you in case you’re on a postpaid plan, and even get hold of all the data stored on your phone…
Now I know a thing or two about GSM networks and let me tell you this, THE ABOVE IS ALL WRONG. There’s no way someone can steal your money or phone stored data by simply making you answer a phone call, it is probably possible in movies but this is not how “smartphone hacking” works in real life.
In order to transfer credits to another phone line you should input a special command on your phone or send an SMS I guess. On the other hand, the protocol you phone uses to make a phone call is meant to transport voice data only, so a calling party can never send your phone special commands to execute over a voice call, and is also never able to view or steal your phone data.
However, some people are indeed losing money and it’s because they are sometimes calling back these numbers when noticing a missed call. The reason is simply because these numbers are premium rate numbers so calling them may cost up to $20 or $30 in some countries (same applies for sending an SMS). As for data theft, it is only possible by tricking you into visiting some malicious link or installing a malicious app.
To protect yourself against such incidents just make sure to stick to the following:
- Never call back a suspicious number.
- Avoid installing apps from outside Google Play for Android or App Store for iOS.
- Avoid clicking on links you receive by e-mail or messaging platforms from unknown senders.
So there you go… there’s absolutely no need to panic if you get a call from these numbers, just be careful what you do with your smartphone.