The Office of the Communications Authority (OFCA) today (11 April 2023) announced that in order to raise public awareness of suspicious calls originating from outside Hong Kong, starting from this month, mobile network operators in Hong Kong have started to send voice alert or text alert, for incoming calls with caller number prefixed with "+852" to alert mobile service users that the calls are from outside Hong Kong. The alert arrangement will be fully implemented by all mobile service providers from 1 May.
With a view to safeguarding the integrity of telecommunications services and the security of communications networks, OFCA has been working closely with telecommunications service providers and law enforcement agencies to devise and implement various technical measures in combating fraudulent calls and messages delivered through telecommunications networks. The introduction of the voice or text alert for incoming "+852" calls is the latest measure launched by the telecommunications industry to combat such improper use of telecommunications for illicit purpose.
"A standard alert message 'Call is from outside Hong Kong. Beware of deception.' would be sent to the mobile user receiving an incoming "+852" call. The voice alert is spoken in Cantonese, Putonghua and English, while the text alert is written in English and Chinese," a spokesperson for OFCA said.
The alert service is provided free of charge by mobile service providers. Mobile service users are not required to do pre-registration, install any mobile apps or make any changes to their phone settings.
"Even if the caller number display has no "+" sign and shows an 8-digit Hong Kong phone number, it may still be a scam call. Members of the public should always stay vigilant when using telecommunications services and never disclose personal information or transfer money to unknown callers to protect themselves from losses," the spokesperson added.
To raise public awareness of the introduction of the voice or text alert for "+852" calls by mobile service providers, OFCA just launched a new set of television and radio announcements in the public interest to publicise the measure.
OFCA will continue to collaborate with the telecommunications industry and law enforcement agencies on developing effective measures to combat fraudulent calls and messages as well as to strengthen public education in this regard.
Office of the Communications Authority
11 April 2023