Have you ever seen a missed call from an unknown international number?
The Directorate of Criminal Investigations and Kenya National Police Service have alerted the public about Wangiri Fraud through a social media post.
The fraudsters make many short-duration calls, mainly to mobile devices, leaving a missed call number that is either premium rate or contains advertising messages, in the hope that the victim will call back.
The term Wangiri is Japanese for “one (ring) and cut.”
According to the DCI page, it’s a genuinely international scam, with victims distributed across the world. Warnings about the scam have appeared in Kenyan, the U.K., Canadian, Irish, and New Zealand media, among others.
This scam relies on one’s nature of returning missed phone calls especially if it is an unsaved number due to curiosity.
The DCI explained that the aim of the scam is to encourage those who get a missed calls to ring the number, after which they will be ripped off as the call will be re-routed to a premium rate number overseas and will be subsequently billed exorbitant sums for listening to pre-recorded messages.
In the post, the DCI highlighted that if you receive such a call, do not think that you have specifically been targeted.
It’s likely that the fraudster has generated a missed call to a whole range of mobile numbers that happens to include yours.
The post went on to recommend what one can do in the event that they fall victim to this scam.
“We recommend that you don’t return calls to international numbers that you don’t recognise. Calls to Wangiri numbers will often result in a charge being incurred and encourage the fraudster to generate more missed calls to customers who choose to call back,” the DCI said.
They went on to add, “If the worst happens and you return the Wangiri call, we encourage you to call your mobile service provider, explain the situation & help them block some of these numbers.”