With the lockdown still in effect in India and many other countries where COVID-19 has spread like wildfire, people are forced to rely on digital means to stay connected with the world out there. Be it connecting with friends and family or coordinating meetings with colleagues, video conferencing apps have gained mainstream attention. Owing to the popularity of such apps, cybercrimes are also on the rise, which is forcing users to be vigilant more than ever.

But one can never be too safe as cybercriminals adopt new methods to trick users. In light of one such instance, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has issued a serious warning to users about a potential bill shocker if not paid attention.

TRAI issues warning

WhatsApp group calling
Representational imageWhatsApp

TRAI's warning is for those who use online conferencing platforms. As per the telecom regulatory, some consumers have complained about exorbitant bills due to unknown ISD charges.

"It has been brought to the notice of TRAI that few consumers have experienced bill shocks when they joined online conferencing platforms inadvertently dialing international telephone numbers. Considering that a large number of members of the public have been using online conferencing platforms due to continued lockdown to check the spread of COVID-19, it is necessary to alert them to check applicable charges for dialing such numbers/ helplines of such platform/App providers," the TRAI advisory read.

Zoom app to the rescue
Video conferencingZoom

Users might also incur ISD or premium number call charges if they dial the customer care centers of some services. TRAI advises users to "carefully check the terms and conditions before using dial-in service provided by online conferencing platforms and cost applicable for contacting the customer care center of such platform in terms of tariff for voice calls and other charges as may be applied by the service providers."

Users must be aware of T&Cs of online conferencing services, but most importantly watch the numbers to which voice calls are being made to in order to joining the conference call or customer service staff.