CRA Alerts Consumers to Protect Their Personal Information Against Potential Risks
The Communications Regulatory Authority (CRA) has noted an increase in number of complaints regarding scam calls through its 103 hotline, media reports and social media comments. CRA would like to urge consumers to not share any personal information that could compromise their privacy if they receive a call from unknown persons.
Significant numbers of consumers reported receiving calls (through apps like WhatsApp and Viber, etc.) from persons claiming to be from their service provider asking for private details such as QID number, bank account number, passwords, etc. CRA would like to caution that these calls are illegitimate and consumers should not share their details to avoid risking fraudulent activity.
If in doubt, CRA recommends that consumers reconfirm requests for information by contacting with their service provider before sharing their information. CRA also advises telecoms consumers not to share other account information such as pin number, password, activation code or user name received by SMS from their service provider.
To tackle this issue, CRA is working closely with the two licensed service providers to take measures to better protect the privacy of Qatari residents by reducing the number of unsolicited and illegitimate calls. CRA also continues to work with its local and regional partners to address threats related to unsolicited and illegitimate telemarketing calls.
“We strive to ensure all communication consumers have adequate and reliable protection when using the communication networks. Service providers are working to provide solutions for scam calls, we encourage consumers if they have received scam calls to report it to their service provider.” said Amel Salem Al-Hanawi, Consumer Affairs Department Manager.
The CRA is continually looking for new ways to improve the experience of telecom consumers in Qatar, and engage consumers of communications services and increase awareness about their rights and responsibilities and consumers have an active role to play in this process by staying informed and exercising their rights.
To this end, the CRA has launched a number of initiatives to improve consumer experience. For example, a new interactive complaints management system to make it more convenient for consumers to lodge and monitor complaints.
CRA also has launched an award winning app, called Arsel, which means ‘send’ in Arabic. The app, which is compatible with both iOS and android platforms, significantly increases transparency for all parties and collects data that will help CRA to work effectively with the service providers to improve the quality of services across the country.
In order to build awareness of these tools and to help consumers better understand their rights (and responsibilities) the CRA takes part in numerous public campaigns and events such as World Consumer Rights Day, where CRA showcased all these products at a stand in a prominent location in Doha. Also during QITCOM, CRA had a stand that featured an interactive station where visitors could lodge telecom complaints live and received face-to-face consultations. These events also give CRA the opportunity to conduct surveys and gather feedback from consumers on the various telecommunications services that are available and build this feedback into interactions with service providers.