I read a story on Facebook that I think will interest everyone. And it raises the question of whether your wireless carrier requires you to shut down your phone for network upgrades. I reproduce it in full below:

I received a call from someone claiming that he was from my mobile Service provider and he asked me to shut down my phone for 2 hours for 3G update to take place. As I was rushing for a meeting, I did not question, but just shut down my cell phone.

After 45 minutes I felt very suspicious since the caller did not even introduce his name. I quickly turned on my cell phone and saw several missed calls from my family members, and the others were from the number that had called me earlier. I called my parents, and I was shocked that they sounded very worried, asking me whether I am safe.

My parents told me that they had received a call from someone claiming that they had me with them and asking for money to let me free. The call was so real and my parents even heard ‘my voice’ crying out loud asking for help. My father was at the bank waiting for next call to proceed for money transfer. I told my parents that I am safe and asked them to lodge a police report.

Right after that, I received another call from the guy asking me to shut down my cell phone for another 1 hour, which I refused to do and hung up. They kept calling my cell phone until the battery had run down. I myself lodged a police report, and I was informed by the officer that there were many such scams reported. MOST of the cases reported that the victim had already transferred the money! And it is impossible to get back the money. Be careful as this kind of scam might happen to any of us!!!

Those guys are so professional and very convincing during calls. If you are asked to shut down your cell phone for updates by the service provider, ASK AROUND! Your family or friends might receive the same call.

It is a bit of a hilarious story. I think that too many people believe what I call tech superstition, and as such fraudsters are taking advantage of that. Of course, the root cause is ignorance. Not a lot of people are quite tech-savvy enough to see the holes in these hoaxes and scam operations. For example, till today, people still send round those silly messages supposedly from WhatsApp or BlackBerry CEO about how your account will be closed if you don’t do some silly things. There is also the hoax about radioactive rays from Mars (or was it Alpha Centauri). The list is almost endless.

Scam - Does your carrier need you to shut down your phone for 3G, 4G or 5G updates?

If your network operator is upgrading their service to 3G, it would have nothing to do with your phone at all. Any rebooting would have to be of certain aspects of their own systems, and many times you would be totally unaware. To be sure of any requests concerning your line, a quick phone call or email to your carrier’s customer care service should clear things up.

How about also coming here to MobilityArena to throw the question out there? Even if you were in a hurry going somewhere, and you receive such a call or message, your phone won’t disintegrate or die if you decide to wait to get more information before acting on it. Don’t fall victim to fraudsters.

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By Mister Mobility

Tech blogging since 2003, I have owned and reviewed hundreds of smartphones running EPOC, Symbian, Palm, PocketPC, Windows Mobile, BlackBerry, BB10, webOS, Windows Phone, Firefox, Ubuntu Touch, Android, iOS, and KaiOS operating systems.

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