Qtel steps up fight against hi-tech crime

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With the emergence of scams on social networking sites meant to steal data and money from Internet surfers, Qtel has expressed keenness in combating these threats.

The Peninsula recently reported the case of two Doha residents who were victimised by hackers stealing their Yahoo Messenger IDs and using them to make money by duping the YM ID owners’ friends and relatives.

In a written response to this paper, Qtel said it had been conducting an ongoing campaign against spam and fraudulent e-mail, SMS, voicemail, and phone calls in Qatar. The company considers social media sites as one of the new channels being used by fraudsters these days. “Typically, the aim is to trick people to respond with personal information—for example, usernames, passwords and date of birth—which can then be used to impersonate the individual and steal data and money,” the company said.

In some cases, Qtel said its Internet security team can work to track the original IP address of the sender, block their Internet access and trace their whereabouts for the relevant authorities. In addition, Qtel is reminding customers of the importance of being careful of these fraudulent messages, which look to steal personal data.

“Qtel will never ask our customers to send personal details and passwords via e-mail, text message or social media. We are doing everything we can to prevent this type of fraud from taking place in Qatar and look to cooperate with our customers in finding and defeating this threat,” said Adel Al Mutawa, Executive Director of Group Communications. Qtel has warned customers not to disclose any information such as financial details or credit card numbers that are requested by SMS or voicemail services. Customers can report instances of fraud at http://www.qtel.com.qa/CustomerCare.

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