Mobile phone networks are warning customers in Tipperary not to answer calls from unknown numbers after a wave of Irish mobile users were hit by a phone scam called ‘wangiri.’
The calls carry international prefixes such as +231 or +269 and are designed to trick people into phoning back at premium rates.
The scam, known as a ‘wangiri’ call, typically rings just once or twice before hanging up. If someone returns the call, they will be re-routed to a premium rate number overseas and charged premium rates on their bill, or have their credit wiped out.
Particular care should be taken when responding to calls from unknown numbers beginning with +247, +269, or +235. Those affected by fraud calls are advised to report them to their mobile operator.
Comreg has advised consumers that returning calls to unknown international numbers can be costly and urge consumers to exercise caution when they receive a missed call from such numbers.
What do do if you think you are a victim of a phone scam?
- Be wary of multiple calls/missed calls being received from the same number that you are unfamiliar with
- Do not call back any number that you don’t recognise where there is a blank or no voicemail message left
- If you dial back an unknown number by mistake – hang up immediately on calls where there appears to be no recipient on -the other end or where you are left on hold
- If you have friends or relatives abroad that may be calling you, store their number (including the country prefix) in your - phone and be aware of the prefix for the country where they might be calling from
- If you are getting persistent missed calls from an unknown number, contact your service provider in the first instance
- Do not provide any personal information for example – banking details/PPS number/credit card details/name and address/passport numbers etc.