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Dial #90 !!

Dial #90
Beep-Beep Beep-Beep—my message tone woke me up at the middle of the night. It was a message from a very close friend. He wanted to warn me about a possible Pakistani hackers’ attempt to take over my cell phone. “Be careful if anyone calls you saying he is from mobile company and asks you to type #09 or #90. PLEASE DON’T DO. CUT THE CALL. This is an attempt of Pakistani terrorists to find out your sim card number and make use of it. It’s confirmed by NOKIA, MOTOROLA and can be verified from CNN website. Please forward to all…”

I was scared like hell. So now terrorists can access our phone also!! I tried doing an Aal Izz Well but my heart wasn’t fooled.

Hey wait a minute!!

I switched on my laptop. Ten minutes later I was smiling. I found what I was looking for. The Mail.

I had received a mail some two weeks back with almost the same content as the above message, but with a slight variation. The mail warned me not to type #90 or #09 if someone calls and asks me to do so, otherwise they will have access to my phone and will make calls at my expense. It also stated that this has been confirmed by Nokia and can be verified from CNN.

By now I was sure that this was one of those hoax mails I was talking about in Reverse ATM PIN-Hoax or Truth. So I decided to verify it from the CNN website. The screenshot below shows the result of my search.
cnn dial #90
As you can see there is no news on dial #90 on the CNN website. I tried using different search queries but with the same result.

So that confirmed my initial doubt. This was indeed a hoax mail/message doing the  rounds.

But wait!!

We all must be aware of the phrase “No smoke without fire”. So let’s apply this phrase to our situation and see what the outcome is.

The mail/message has a pinch of truth in it.

What this mail claims can actually happen, provided you are using PBX system. For those who don’t know, PBX stands for Private Branch Exchange. This is used at places like hotels, hospitals, institutions etc. where you dial a number (generally #90 or #09) to get outside call. At such places if someone fools the operator into dialing this sequence, the outside line gets activated and the person can then make call at the expense of the PBX owner.

However if you dial this number from your cell phone or land line, nothing is going to happen- you might here a busy tone or number-does-not-exist message. I actually tried dialing it from my Nokia cell phone. When I dialed 90#, I got an error message saying “No number saved to SIM location 90”. On dialing the same number from my LG phone I got this-is-not-a-valid-number message.

This doesn’t mean you start following whatever the person on the other side says when next time you get such a call.

The best practice to follow if you get a phone call from a stranger claiming to be from so-and-so company is to ask his number and name and then say that you’ll get back to him. After that, call that company and give them this person’s name and phone number to verify his credentials. And no matter what, never disclose your personal information and bank details to a stranger over phone. Remember banks or other companies will never ask you to divulge your confidential information over phone.
Better safe than sorry.

Over to you.

We would appreciate if you could drop in a comment to let us know your views. This keeps us motivated to share more such posts here.

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14 Responses to Dial #90 !!

  1. Mihir Narvilkar January 28, 2010 at 12:11 pm #

    hey thanks for cautioning us!

  2. mohan July 9, 2010 at 9:24 am #

    MMMm gud

  3. صور September 15, 2010 at 12:50 am #

    strange tittle but now i understand good idea

  4. bikky December 18, 2010 at 5:34 pm #

    Hi anshul you give us very valuable informations of day today concern. If a person wants to do good for the masses, he can actually search out his own way to do it, as u are doing it. Thanks bro.

  5. Anonymous July 15, 2011 at 7:41 pm #

    What about this post from BSNL Chennai then??


  6. Anshul July 16, 2011 at 9:00 am #

    The link that you provided reminded me of another link that a reader posted in the article http://www.knowledgehub.co.in/2010/12/hoax-best-national-anthem-unesco.html. In that article if you search for a comment by Nitika Gupta, she has posted a link to a news that appeared in The Hindu, claiming that our national anthem has been declared the best in the world- which is not true (read that article to find the facts).

    Coming to your question, this is yet another case of shoddy journalism. Some journalists are ready to publish anything they come across in the name of the news. They do not take care to verify the authenticity of their claims. For example, look at the quality of the news served on news channels these days. In this case also, this is what has happened. The person who uploaded the content on the website must have read one such article by one such journalist, and thought it to be true.

  7. Anonymous July 17, 2011 at 8:00 am #

    Thank you very much for the information.
    I received the same message on my mobile. To verify the truth, I searched on the internet and am here having cleared all my doubts.
    Your information really helped.
    Thank you very much again and keep this noble work going.

  8. Anonymous July 19, 2011 at 1:18 pm #

    Keep up the good work..I had received a similar text as well..

  9. Anonymous August 3, 2011 at 7:47 am #

    good information! thank you so much!.. God bless you more!

  10. Anonymous September 16, 2011 at 8:19 pm #

    Thank you! Great post.I received a similar sms.

  11. Priyanka February 29, 2012 at 8:45 pm #

    still i can’t subscribe and assess ma account.

  12. ss May 24, 2013 at 2:22 pm #

    vey gud info. i’m sharing this link to the post i got on facebook.

  13. Mona December 3, 2014 at 10:24 am #

    Thanks for the explanation.
    I always check the authenticity of such messages before I frwd them, even if means dialling a number of reporting a lost person and so on.
    My funda is that if a message is going from me to anyone, I take full responsibility of that message as a responsible friend, citizen, fellow human.

    About the BSNL post, it only says the mandates. We all know of them. It never mentioned #90 anywhere. These guys just put a link knowing that very few people would take the pain to verify it and at the same time “BSNL” would always authenticate the subject…

    Such a pity!

  14. dewasish September 14, 2015 at 12:18 pm #

    Perfect information

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