Beware “Wangiri” Phone Scam

The Spanish consumers association have issued a warning about the latest telephone call scam where criminals attempt to dupe victims into calling back a number after missing a call, but it is one that will cost them financially when they do.

The Organisation of Users and Consumers saidthe scam is known as “wangiri”, which is Japanese for: call and cut. And that is precisely what the scammers do. They call a number, barely let it ring and then hang up. When the person returns the call, they are actually calling a premium rate number, usually abroad, for which there is a hefty charge for both call set-up and connection time. But you may not actually know that you have been duped until you get your bill and see the charge

Not returning calls when the number is unknown is the only certain way to avoid the scam. If in doubt, the best thing to do is to try to check the number or even go to an online search engine and type in the exact number that appears on the phone screen to identify the caller.

Scam calls usually come from a foreign number, recognisable because its identifier will start with a ‘+’ or a ’00’ followed by a prefix before the phone number itself (the Spanish prefix is +34 or 0034, but operators remove this prefix for national calls), the OCU pointed out.

If you have fallen for the scam the OCU in Spain you can report it through INCIBE – Spain’s national institute of cyber security.


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