The phone number is an illusion because it is being circulated on the internet.
In the middle of the night, Luong Kuet suddenly received a series of threatening phone calls after someone posted his phone number on a Facebook group.
Kuwait has already published various news about the project in the cryptocurrency group with over 100,000 members. “I get a lot of threatening slurs in my inbox every day, but I don’t mind because they end up in the junk folder,” Kuwait said.
But things got more complicated as the attackers gleaned more information from his Facebook. One day, one of the team members proudly said that he found the Kuwait phone number using a special social media number lookup tool.
A few minutes after the information was published, he immediately received “storm” calls, flashing lights or threatening messages in the middle of the night. Using the phone number he used to register for many online services, these people found information about him online, took photos and posted them to attack.
The next morning he was contacted for services such as delivery, booking airline tickets, medical examination and treatment, lending money “to confirm the order”.
“After listening, I found out that someone had used my number to sign up for the service. Despite disclosing them, some people still accused me of being a “bombshell” and caught my attention.
Mr Kuyet had to turn off his phone for days to avoid being attacked, even though it was an important phone number. To this day, even though the original post was deleted, some people have kept the information about it, sometimes threatening to share it in the group.
Thu Huyen (HCMC) was the victim after revealing her phone number following an online purchase. “That day I suddenly received a lot of obscene and sexual messages. After checking Google, my phone and Facebook turned up on a pornographic website,” Huyen said. She suspects a previous online transaction with an online store could be to blame.
“After I bought it, I received it as poor quality, so I quarreled with the party. Maybe it was their revenge because they got my information from my phone number to my address,” he said.
He wasn’t attacked like Kuyet or Huyen, but Ngoc Ha (Hanoi) was also the victim of solicitation calls when he gave out his phone number to a private group.
“In the beginning there was a group in the apartment building where I live. The manager has asked everyone to give their phone number and address so they can be easily reached if needed. Without thinking, I gave the main phone number: “Ha . he said.
In less than a week, several companies offering services near her home called to offer their services, from real estate to English centers to financial loans. “You know, I have young kids in my family who do curriculum counseling,” she says. “Even if the previous comment is deleted, I still have concerns that data collectors might store this information.
Disclosure of personal information in general, and phone numbers in particular, is not uncommon for many netizens in Vietnam. Many people were constantly concerned about using their phone to sign up for the service. For example, after purchasing an airline ticket, you may receive a barrage of messages and calls offering airport taxi services.
In the age of social media, experts recommend associating phone numbers with various pieces of personal information, such as photos, family, and work. In addition, in many applications, the phone number is linked to the user’s bank account.
“Once seen by the bad guys, users can become victims of the information they provide,” said security expert Ngo Min Hieu. After disclosing the number, the consequences can be called violence, harassment and at the same time the risk of SIM theft, account manipulation.
Different ways to display phone numbers
According to security experts, users are still too naive to share personal information, including phone numbers. In addition, marketers and hackers have many ways to gain access to users if they are not keeping an eye on them.
For example, if an ad offers to leave a phone number in order to receive an offer, many people willingly provide that information. Some hacker groups use network operators and government agencies to collect identity information related to phone numbers or to make fraudulent calls through websites. Or, like Kuwait, he believed that a Facebook-linked phone number would help his friends have multiple means of communication during tough times, not to mention the day they become a tool for harassment.
According to expert Ngo Minh Hieu, it’s easy to find sensitive identity information being sold on the dark web or some Telegram and Facebook “data markets”. “Also, nothing escapes online scammers. Just a small loophole, they can find a way to enrich the database, then sell or sell, steal your information to commit illegal activities,” said Mr. Hugh.
This expert advises users to minimize information and always think before sharing things like phone numbers, national identity, or sensitive images online. Because once information has been put online, it is very difficult to undo it and control is no longer in the hands of the user.
Users are advised to block these contacts if they are being harassed by calls and messages from unknown numbers, and then report to the Vietnam Cyber Response Center page at chongthurac.vn if you receive calls and temporarily block messages from unknown numbers.