A very popular SMS that is making the rounds, says, “Hi I am Sonia. Meet hi-society female make friendship charming educated Indian models air hostess NRI doctors and more….”
South Delhi resident Sudhakar Shah was surprised to receive the SMS on Tuesday morning. “At first I didn’t realise what the message meant. So I called the number from which the SMS had been sent. The man who received the call introduced himself as Roney from a Delhi escort agency. On questioning, he offered me the services of hot college girls at very attractive rates,” said Shah.
Interestingly, on being grilled further by Shah, the escort service agent allegedly revealed how he had procured the mobile phone number. “Roney said his agency had the data base of thousands of young executives working in Delhi and its suburbs. He added there are many young men who want to go out with girls but do not know whom to contact. He said his agency was reaching them through SMSes and that this was their new marketing strategy,” said Shah.
The agent revealed they send out 700 to 1,000 SMSes in a day from the list of working professionals available with them. “We buy the contact details of potential customers. Sending these SMSes costs us a few hundred rupees only but they reach out to our target audience and work very effectively. Many call us out of curiosity, like you have. The number of calls we receive has tripled within a week of sending the SMSes,” said the escort agent.
According to cyber security experts, the SMS again reveals the vulnerability of our personal data. Vivek Vohra, a Delhi-based cyber crime expert, said, “Telephone numbers of young executives are easily available and are openly sold in markets. They are also available on the Internet at very nominal rates. It is hard to catch the sender of an SMS as they can easily change the SIM of the mobile phone from which the message was sent. Moreover, they can use bulk SMS service, which covers the message’s origins.”