Though the scam is not specific to Ireland, and has become a telecoms industry-wide problem, thousands of phone users across all Irish networks have been recently targeted by what is being referred to as Wangiri fraud.
The telephone scam, which began at the start of this week, sees fraudsters dial from numbers in Liberia and Chad. They immediately hang up afterwards in the hope that those targeted will ring the missed call number back.
Those who return the missed call get re-routed to premium rate number overseas and get charged extortionist amounts for the ‘privilege’ of listening to pre-recorded messages.
According to The Irish Times, the scheme is commonly known as Wangiri fraud and sees scam artists use phone numbers bought on the dark web to dial phone users in other countries and then immediately disconnect the calls.
To avoid the scam, the advice being given is common enough sense but can be difficult for those who always need to know who that missed call was from – people who receive a missed call from an international number they don’t recognise should not return the call. You’ll only be disappointed and charged with an exorbitant fee.