Actor Jacqueline Fernandez falls victim to mobile number spoofing: How to ensure you are not next?

As per the latest update from the Enforcement Directorate, Bollywood actor Jacqueline Fernandez is the new victim of mobile number spoofing. In its new charge sheet related to the money laundering case against the actor, the ED mentioned that Fernandez was spoofed by conman Sukesh Chandrashekhar, who tricked her to believe that the call was from the office of the Union Home Minister Amit Shah. The charge sheet notes that Chandrashekhar became friends with the actor by spoofing phone calls from Shah’s office.

The agency mentioned. “he (Chandrashekhar) was trying to get in touch with her (Fernandez) over many weeks in December (2020) and January, 2021 but she did not respond to him as she got many calls as such and was not sure about who the person was. Her makeup artist Shaan Muthathil was then contacted by a government office and was told that Jacqueline Fernandez must get in touch with Mr Shekhaar as he is an important person and would like to speak to her.”

What is Mobile number spoofing?

Mobile number spoofing is not a new technique and has been used by scammers for several years to primarily trick influential people. It is basically manipulation of the caller ID information and making someone believe that a call is from a certain person. Over the years, we have seen that this method has often been used to prank people into believing that they have received a call from a celebrity or people they look up to the most.

Oftentimes, the mobile number spoofing technique is often used by law enforcement agencies to track criminals or get information about a certain someone.

The questions now are – how one should identify such calls and stay safe from mobile number spoofing?

Mobile number spoofing: How to identify and stay safe

Tip 1: The easiest way to stay safe from mobile number spoofing is by not connecting with unknown person. It is best to not pick calls from people you do not know or unsaved phone numbers.

Tip 2: You can use caller ID apps such as Truecaller to know caller information.

Tip 3: Identifying such calls is easy. If at any point in time the caller claims to be a popular face or close to someone renowned, there are high chances that it is a case of mobile number spoofing.

Tip 4: If ever you find a caller suspicious, disconnect and block the mobile number immediately.