- Scammers target Australians by calling them for one ring and then hanging up
- When people call the number back their money instantly starts getting fleeced
- Scamwatch has already received 19 reports of scams from unsuspecting Aussies
- Police warned against picking up calls from unknown international numbers
Unsuspecting Australians are being warned about a phone scam that swindles thousands of dollars from them.
The scammers target people by calling them on an international number for one ring and then hanging up.
When people call the number back, their money automatically starts getting fleeced by the fraudsters.
Last week Scamwatch received 19 reports of ‘Wangiri’ scams – missed calls from international numbers that charge a premium rate if you ring the number back. nullabout:blankabout:blank
‘In this latest version the scammer sometimes says ‘Hello’ before hanging up. Just don’t call back!,’ the government agency warned.
‘The scammers rely on you calling the number back in order to charge you a premium rate.
‘The longer the scammers can keep you on the phone the more you are charged for the call. They may even put you on hold, play music or read a horoscope.’
Scamwatch said that because the call operates as a 1900 number or premium mobile service, a large percentage of the call charge is passed onto the scammer by by the person’s service provider.
‘If you receive an unexpected missed call from an international number you don’t recognise, ignore it,’ Scamwatch said.
‘If you are receiving repeated missed calls, block the number.’
NSW Police warned against picking up unknown numbers from international callers, or ringing them back.
‘Had a call from an unfamiliar international number? Don’t answer or ring back – it could be a scam that’ll cost you a small fortune,’ it warned on their Facebook page.
A number of Facebook users commented saying they’ve received suspicious calls this past week, particularly from Tunisia in northern Africa.
‘Guess the explains the three calls from Tunisia I’ve received the last few days that only rang for 3 seconds. Two different numbers, both blocked immediately,’ one comment read.
‘I’ve had plenty in the past. Most recent only a couple of days ago from Tunisia. I always ignore the call & then block the number,’ read another.
‘Tunisia is a regular caller for me – unanswered of course,’ a person said.
‘I keep getting calls from Tunisia. Don’t answer and block number. A few hours later again Tunisia from a different number. I have already blocked three numbers.
With inputs from Daily Mail Australia