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Million rupee cash prize from Mobilink

Mobilink

I recently got a call on the BlackBerry number informing me that I had won a million rupees in a lucky draw conducted by Mobilink and that I should call back on the same number to claim the prize.

Mobilink actually does have such a scheme for their Jazz customers, but the fact that my package doesn’t fall into that category and the manner in which I received the call aroused my suspicions. Why would Mobilink be calling me from another, recently released mobile number instead of through a call center? And why should I have to call them back to claim my prize? Why did the person on the other end sound more like a kabaddi wrestler than a customer support rep?

A search for mobilink cash prize revealed a number of stories on such scams, like this one by The News and this blog post by The Pakistani Spectator. The usual tactic is to get as much of the victim’s details as they can and then ask for pre-paid scratch card numbers or a small amount to facilitate the transfer of the cash prize. That’s a lot like the Nigerian 419 fraud emails we receive every day, but with a more local and personal touch.

Convinced that it really is a way to swindle money out of people, I thought I’d have a little fun and see where things would lead, so I called them back. The first attempt resulted in a busy signal (they could have fixed this part to make it more believable). The second call connected me to a new person who put me on hold with the real Mobilink jingle being played.

After I had listened to the full ad, another person came on the phone and greeted me in broken English with something along the lines of “Mobilink customer support. How I may you help today?”. I pretended not to understand English and he simply guessed that I was calling about the prize.

Another warning sign with such scams is that they emphasize on the urgency of the matter. That’s what this guy did by telling me how late I was in calling back and how I should quickly contact their “MD sahib” (the actual prizes can be claimed within 30 days). While giving me the MD’s contact, he tried making casual chit-chat about what my name was and what I did, but I finished the conversation without revealing anything useful.

After calling the new number, another person with a similar accent answered and put me on hold again with the Mobilink tune playing. This call was cut off and I didn’t want to waste more time on this so just let it be. However, the earlier person called me after a few hours and asked if I had talked to their Managing Director. I said that the number got cut off, but that I’d be willing to pick up the prize in person from any Mobilink office.

This put the goon on the back-foot and he asked again where I was calling from. When I said Islamabad/Rawalpindi, he said that I would have to go all the way to the Mobilink head office in Karachi and that it’ll be more convenient to just talk to their managing director and get it finalized over the phone. After the call, I was tempted to call them again in a few hours and tell them that I had taken a flight to Karachi (who wouldn’t do that, given the money involved?), but then decided that it was enough fun for the day.

A lot of people regularly fall for these kinds of scams so be wary and don’t get suckered into losing even a penny to them. If you really have won something, you’ll know about it through more reliable means. If there’s anyone who I can help in catching these guys, please get in touch.

23 thoughts on “Million rupee cash prize from Mobilink

  1. hahahahhahaha …
    I should not be laughing but I cannot stop my self.
    Anyways

    Once I received a call from PTCL and the guy said to call him and I said ok but did not called him I knew PTCL does not have such scheme

  2. Maybe if he was giving out anime, I would’ve sold my dog for it… Anyhow with that kinda money we you could’ve bought Black Berries for everyone at office : D

  3. I know an English guy in Japan who is a real expert in winding up Nigerian scammers. I think they even set up a fake paypal-like site and got the scammers to use it…lol

  4. whos the persons providing our personal details about sim secret number and our personal information. who is responcible.Are the moblink worker responcible for theat.

  5. naved, the people responsible for these scams are those that are gullible enough to fall for them, as well as the law-enforcement agencies that fail to catch the perpetrators.

    Getting the numbers isn’t an issue in Pakistan. They could get them from the same sources that the bank people do or they may be dialing random numbers for all we know.

  6. lolz…i just recieved this call 10 mins bak…was serching for mobilink customer support on the internet so i cud ask the head office whether its true or not….now i know…thnx for writing the story

  7. i just recieved this call 10 mins bak…was serching for mobilink customer support on the internet so i cud ask the head office whether its true or not….now i know…thnx for writing the story

  8. Hahaha i bought the card and loaded in my mobile instead of giving them. Same like u i was wondering why this company in pakistan will ask me to call them if they want to really give away the prizes they will declare everyone.

  9. The best way to deal with these guys is probably to keep them in the call for as long as possible. Waste both their time and their money so they have less motivation for it.

  10. I just received a similar phone call. The person asked me to call on the ssame number after 10 minutes. I started questioning him about where he was calling from and if he knew that i had won a prize he should have the rest of the details within the head office (he termed as inaami as against call center). He said i had been using the number for long. Upon my querry, “how long?”, he replied: “3-4, 5-6 or 7 years”. hahahaha and then i asked him why he thougth he could swindle me like he inteded to and his reply was very claculated. He aid i am asking you to call me back. Am i not? And when i said that if i had one was not the prize giver supposed to contact me he said no and that there were other requirements i had to meet 🙂 so the stories here are similar! I wonder if anybody so far has a

  11. i got 3 calls during eid days that i am the winner of such n so prize and it was all joke

  12. I HAVE RECEIVED A MOBILE MESSAGE ON29MAY 2009 FOR WINNING A PRIZE IN ON GOING WORLD MOBILE PHONE PROMO is that correct or not please give a response.

  13. Man….i got the same call….10 mins ago…at first i was also fooled by their urgency nd there jazz hold tune….nd the fact they kept calling me to check tht did i call there supervior to check my lucky draw……i would have to say the con was perfect to the point where he said to awail the cash prize…u will need to deposit security of 8900 rs…nd through jazz calling cards…Dumbass MOFO…

  14. وصلتني رسالة بأني ربحت 3500000 يورو وذكر فيها رقم للإستعلام في أسبانيا فماذا أفعل

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