Ever received a missed call from an international mobile number? Well, most of the time it could be a Wangiri fraud scam artist.
Dubbed Wangiri Fraud, is a word loosely translated to mean ‘one ring and cut’ entailing a telephone scam in which one gets a phone call from unknown international lines.
It’s an international revenue shared fraud that has scammers trying to reach out to unsuspecting persons or subscribers with intention of having them reach back. In turn, this benefits them since a high rate is charged to the subscriber for calls to such destinations.
Wangiri is a scam that often begins with a phone call that once picked, the scam artist tries to retain the listener’s attention long enough or even have them call back. When this happens the scammers earn revenue through the billing of the calls.
The Wangiri fraudsters broadcast numerous missed calls to various parts of the globe that act as triggers for someone to call back. Ideally use varied phone numbers to avoid follow-up and make trailing them difficult.
In the process that people who received missed calls from international lines call back, the scammers get to earn their revenue based on the traffic volume. For example, when a broadcast of missed calls is sent to 10 million people globally then approximately 1 million calls back when probably a minute call is charged at Kshs 50 to 100.
Makes the fraudsters get up to a million in a minute of callbacks from the unsuspecting subscribers who reach out for clarification on who called them.
According to research by Communication Fraud Control Association up to $28 billion are lost globally to cellphone fraud. While since Kenya currently has over 65 million mobile subscriptions which make us a target.
In cases where they pick up your call, the scam artist tries to have you on the line as they keep asking whether you can hear them clear enough or at times puts you in the music playing around them.
The moments an innocent subscriber keeps inquiring seeking to make sense of what the scam artist is talking about, the delay is in turn making money for the scammer.
What to do When you get missed Call from an Unknown Number
Safaricom has put in place measures to ensure that the subscribers and users are safe from fraudulent scammers.
Urging that once one receives a missed call or message from an unknown international line, in case they suspect it, one can forward the number or message to 333.
This assists block the number which in turn is a save for someone else who would have probably called the number back.
Safaricom has coordinated with carriers, who assist deliver calls from Safaricom to international destinations so that they are able to track Wangiri calls attempts coming to our network.
Whereby they block the Wangiri calls as well as when the unsuspecting subscriber calls back, the call is dropped since the number is blocked.