Prominent PR guru raises cybersecurity concerns following Truecaller verification issues

In a startling turn of events, Dale Bhagwagar, one of India’s most trusted PR professionals, has raised significant cybersecurity concerns following a series of troubling incidents involving the popular caller identification app Truecaller and his mobile service provider, Airtel. Bhagwagar detailed these concerns in a lengthy and descriptive Facebook post, bringing the issues to attention.

The controversy began when Bhagwagar discovered his name was incorrectly displayed on Truecaller, apparently altered by an unknown party. Despite subscribing to Truecaller Premium, the app’s paid version, to rectify this error, Bhagwagar encountered persistent technical issues and problems, including an error code 422:2.

Bhagwagar’s attempts to resolve the problem through Truecaller’s customer support led to a perplexing situation. A support representative, identified as Amy, explained that the system doesn’t allow the word ‘Dale’ due to privacy reasons, suggesting he use initials instead. This explanation proved unsatisfactory for Bhagwagar, as ‘Dale’ is his real name and crucial to his professional identity.

The situation escalated when Truecaller requested Bhagwagar to provide proof of ownership for his Indian mobile number, asking for a registration bill from his carrier. However, what happened next raised serious cybersecurity red flags.

Within just 45 minutes of receiving this email from Truecaller, Bhagwagar received an alarming notification from his service provider, Airtel India. The email stated that Airtel had been informed by CERT-In (Indian Computer Emergency Response Team), a government agency, that Bhagwagar’s device was infected with Bot/Malware.

This unprecedented sequence of events has led Bhagwagar to question whether there could be any connection between Truecaller’s request for his carrier details and the subsequent malware alert. He has called upon various government bodies, including the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology, Department of Telecommunications, and Maharashtra Cyber Crime, to review the situation and investigate if he is being targeted by the Sweden-based company.

Bhagwagar emphasized the importance of his name for his professional integrity, stating, “My name is my identity, and it is crucial for my professional integrity. Even after paying for Truecaller Premium, the issues with the app have persisted.”

The PR guru has also requested assistance from the Cyber Crime Investigation Cell, Mumbai, to help determine if a formal complaint needs to be registered regarding the Bot/Malware issue.

This incident raises serious questions about Truecaller’s verification process, customer service policies, and the broader implications for cybersecurity in India. It underscores the need for improved support and flexibility, especially for professionals who rely on accurate caller identification for their work.

Truecaller, the app at the center of this controversy, is a caller identification service developed by True Software Scandinavia AB. Founded in 2009 by Alan Mamedi and Nami Zarringhalam, Truecaller has grown into a global platform with a significant user base, particularly in India. The privately held company is headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden, but maintains a strong presence in India, where many of its employees are based.

Truecaller has positioned itself as a solution to unwanted calls and messages, offering features like caller ID, spam detection, and call blocking. However, this incident with Dale Bhagwagar raises questions about the company’s data handling practices and customer support, especially in its key market of India.

As this story continues to unfold, it highlights the growing concerns over digital privacy and security in an increasingly connected world. The incident serves as a reminder of the potential vulnerabilities that exist even within widely used applications and the importance of robust cybersecurity measures to protect users’ data and identities.

You might also like

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More