The phone scammers are on the loose big time at the moment. Have you been caught out?
Stop and think twice before picking up that phone.
Especially if it’s an unknown number with an unusual country code, you probably shouldn’t answer and definitely don’t call back a missed number.
Such calls are something known as a “wangiri scam” after a Japanese word which loosely translates to “one ring and cut”.
The phone calls essentially prank your phone in the hopes you will call back at which point you might be unwittingly racking up a hefty bill.
This type of scam has become increasingly common with calls originating from places like Cuba, Africa and Latvia targeting mobile customers in Australia in recent months.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s deputy chair, Delia Rickard, spoke to ABC and recommended ignoring calls from country codes you don’t recognise.
“What typically happens is the scammer calls for just one ring then cuts the line leaving a missed call on the victim’s phone,” she said.
“Then the victim calls the number back and they could be put on hold, have music playing or they could try and chat.”
The objective is to keep you on the phone for as long as possible.
The scammers often call on premium lines similar to those used by psychic hotlines or sex lines that can end up costing you a small fortune.
Ms Rickard said with scams like these, the perpetrators can find a way to get some of the money charged for calling the premium line — and it’s very difficult for telcos to prevent.
Have you been caught?
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