Home / Caveat! Missed international call, please do not call back, it may be a new phone scam

Caveat! Missed international call, please do not call back, it may be a new phone scam

Source: KATHARINE Release Time: 23:20:04 2020-01-06

For you not to fall into the trap of international fraud! Please do not call back missed calls from international calls you do not know.

The way the fraud works is that scammers buy "premium" phone lines that charge a lot‚ such as R100 a minute‚ and then use software to send missed calls to hundreds of thousands of people. A small percent of people return the call thinking they have missed an important phone call from a friend‚ relative or business abroad. What they don’t realise is that it costs them up to a R100 or more a minute because they are dialling this “premium number”.

This fraud has a name: “Wangiri Fraud” - which Fick said “sounds like something you would put in a salad”. Wangiri is actually Japanese for “one ring and drop”. This is what happens. Your phone rings and then stops before you can answer it.

A group of criminals start a legal company abroad and open a handful of premium phone lines charging high rates per minute. Many times the phone lines offer phone sex or something else callers are willing pay for. The telephone companies take a cut from the calls and pay the rest into the business's legal bank account. After a few months the operation turns criminal. The syndicates call hundreds of thousands numbers across the world and wait for a few confused people to return the calls to the pricey numbers.

The equipment is portable so they could run a scam for two days and before the authorities have worked out who they are they have caught a flight “to the Bahamas”‚ said Fick. “They may even continue to run the scam from the beach and make money on the run‚” she said. It’s a cross-border crime with multiple jurisdictions making it hard to catch those involved.

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