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How to protect yourself from the ‘Wangiri’ phone scam

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The ‘Wangiri’ phone scam

The ‘Wangiri’ scam is a form of telephone fraud that has gained notoriety in recent years. This scam, which originated in Japan, has spread its reach globally and affected thousands of people. Its name comes from the expression ‘one ring and cut’. Cybercriminals use this technique to trick people into spending extra money when they call back.

How does the ‘Wangiri’ scam work?

The ‘Wangiri’ scam is simple, but effective. Scammers make short calls to random numbers using automated systems. These calls come from unknown international numbers and the aim is for the victim to return the call, generating special tariff costs. When the person returns the call, they are met with a recorded message or a line on hold. Criminals benefit from high fees, which can be exorbitant (

Warning signs

To recognize a ‘Wangiri’ scam, it is important to look out for certain warning signs. Some clues to identify this type of fraud are the following:

– Missed calls from unknown international numbers

If you get a call from an international number you don’t recognize, it’s likely a scam.

– Short calls

‘Wangiri’ calls usually last only one tone, long enough for them to appear as missed calls on the phone.

– Unusual hours

‘Wangiri’ calls are usually made during night hours or times when you are less likely to answer.

How to protect yourself from the ‘Wangiri’ scam

To protect yourself from the ‘Wangiri’ scam, here are some helpful tips:

– Do not return calls to unknown numbers

If you get a missed call from a number you don’t recognize, especially if it’s international, don’t return it.

– Block suspicious numbers

Use your phone’s blocking features to avoid receiving calls from suspicious numbers.

– Inform your operator

If you suspect that you have been the victim of a ‘Wangiri’ scam, inform your telephone operator. They can help you block these numbers and, in some cases, get your lost money back.

– Use security applications

There are apps available that can help you identify and block fraudulent calls. Research and download one that fits your needs.

What to do if you have been a victim?

If you have fallen for the ‘Wangiri’ scam, here are some tips to try and find a solution:

– Contact your operator

Notify your telephone service provider of the situation. They can offer you solutions and, in some cases, refunds.

– Review the invoice

Check your phone bill to identify unusual charges and detect fraudulent activity.

– Report the scam

In many countries, there are bodies responsible for receiving complaints about telephone fraud such as the ‘Wangiri’ scam. Investigate and file a complaint to help prevent future cases.

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