Etisalat warns customers of phone call scam
by Joanna HartleyJoanna Hartley on Sunday, 01 February 2009
PRIZE SCAM: Etisalat customers are being targeted by a Pakistani phone scam. (Getty Images)
Etisalat has issued a warning to its customers of a scam that involves fraudsters posing as its employees who tell customers they have won cash prizes, it was announced on Sunday.
The Abu Dhabi-based telecommunications company has said the scam asks people for their personal information so they can claim the prize, which is then used to rip them off.
The company has confirmed it is not running any prize schemes at present.
And is urging customers not to give out any confidential information such as bank account details, PINs, eVouchers or recharge card numbers to unknown callers who contact them via phone, SMS or email.
After months of in-house tweaking and testing, Etisalat has launched its voice directory service in an effort to reduce response times.
Initially available only to landline customers calling ‘181’, the service will soon be made available to Etisalat’s mobile customers as well.
The service works with the help of an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system that uses automatic speech recognition to distinguish commands in both Arabic and English, regardless of caller accent or dialect.
As the service is only in its first phase, it can presently only provide listings for five main categories – finance, travel, hotels, restaurants and healthcare. Other categories will be included at a later stage.
Customer service agents at Etisalat, who previously handled directory enquiries, will now provide support for other categories and requests that the system can’t handle.