What are ‘Wangiri’ Scams and How Can I Avoid Them?

28 May 2024
wangiri scam

In the realm of telecommunication fraud, one scam that has been gaining notoriety is the “Wangiri” scam. Originating from Japan, the term “Wangiri” translates to “one (ring) and cut.” This scam involves criminals making calls that ring once and then hang up, leaving a missed call notification on the target’s phone. The goal is to entice the recipient to return the call, often to a premium-rate number that incurs high charges sometimes up to $50 per minute.

How Wangiri Scams Work

The scammers set up automated systems to dial numerous phone numbers at once, letting them ring briefly before disconnecting. When recipients see a missed call from an unfamiliar international or premium-rate number, curiosity or concern might prompt them to return the call. Upon calling back, victims are connected to an expensive service, such as an adult entertainment line or a chat service and are charged exorbitant rates per minute. The scammers then receive a portion of these charges.

Avoiding Wangiri Scams

  1. Ignore Unknown Numbers: If you receive a call from an unfamiliar international or suspicious-looking number, do not return the call. Legitimate callers will leave a voicemail or contact you through other means if it’s important.
  2. Block and Report: Use your phone’s blocking features to prevent further calls from the suspicious number. Additionally, report the number to your phone service provider, which can help to track and block these numbers.
  3. Check Your Bill: Regularly review your phone bill for any unusual charges. If you spot any, contact your service provider immediately to dispute them and prevent future incidents.
  4. Educate Yourself and Others: Awareness is key. Educate yourself about the different types of phone scams and share this knowledge with friends and family to help protect them as well.
  5. Use Call-Blocking Apps: Consider using call-blocking apps or services that can help identify and block spam and scam calls. These apps can provide an additional layer of protection against Wangiri scams. An example of this is Truecaller
  6. Search for missed call numbers on-line: A quick Google search may highlight the number as a scam which has already been reported.

By staying vigilant and taking these preventative measures, you can protect yourself from falling victim to Wangiri scams and avoid unnecessary charges on your phone bill.

Speak to our security team at Archway Securities to find out more in protecting yourself and your organisation from scams.

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