Vodafone users getting an ‘upgrade to Vi 5G’ message in India? Beware, it’s a scam

  • Scammers are sending phishing text messages to Vi users for 5G upgradation.
  • Vi has not yet launched its 5G services in the country.
  • Only Jio and Airtel have rolled out their 5G services in India.

As 5G is being rolled out in India, cybercriminals are leaving no stone unturned to steal users’ money by tricking them into connecting to the 5G network. Currently, only Jio and Airtel are offering 5G services to their customers in a phased manner. The 5G rollout in India is delayed for BSNL and Vodafone-idea (Vi) customers in the country. Taking a cue from that, cybercriminals are now targeting Vi users via phishing text messages regarding 5G, as per a TOI report.

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Scammers sending ‘upgrade to Vi 5G’ messages

According to the report, cybercriminals are asking users to upgrade to 5G by clicking on the link included in the message – via WhatsApp and Text – to steal money from users’ bank accounts. The report highlighted that the link in many SMSes is linked to a Paytm account, revealing how scammers are widening their web to steal money under the guise of a 5G upgrade.

“Vi 5G network is live. Click on the link below or call on XXXXXX number to upgrade,” reads a message received by Vi users.

Note that no one should ever click on links included in these kinds of messages because doing so could result in them losing their money or sensitive information, such as bank account information or other crucial information.

In October, a tweet from the Mumbai Police alerted users to a 5G scam in which scammers offered consumers conversion guides to 5G to defraud users. According to a graphic included in the tweet from Mumbai Police, scammers pose as executives of reputable phone service providers and promise to help users upgrade from 4G to 5G. The tweet noted how fraudsters might compel victims to share their personal and banking information using dubious links.

5G in India

Prime Minister Narendra Modi formally debuted 5G services on October 1st, following the conclusion of India’s 5G spectrum auctions in August. Currently, Airtel provides 5G services in cities, including Imphal, Ahmedabad, Gandhinagar, Shimla, Lucknow, Hyderabad, Chennai, Delhi, Mumbai, Guwahati, Gurugram and Bengaluru, among others. Jio, on the other hand, has rolled out the 4G services in some parts of Andhra Pradesh, all the districts of Gujarat, Varanasi, Mumbai, Delhi, Noida, Ghaziabad, Gurugram, Pune, Chennai, Kochi, and more.