MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Have you been getting unexpected overseas calls? Ask your friends, family, or anyone in your office and the answer is probably yes.
CBSMiami did a little digging and discovered these calls are part of an international one-ring call scam called “Wangiri”, which comes from Japan where the scam originated years ago and means one-ring-and-cut. (One ring and done.)
These short-duration call scams try to trick you into calling back and racking up unexpected costs.
In February 2018, the website Triple Hack reported an uptick in these calls from Papua New Guinea, Slovenia, the Congo and Belgium. Now it appears they are coming from France, the United Kingdom and other nations.
The scam involves overseas companies relying on people calling the numbers back to see what’s going on in order to make money.
They will call you, let it ring once or twice and do it multiple times so you will want to call them back. If you do, you may be connected to an international hotline than can charge a fee for connecting, along with significant per-minute fees if they can keep you on the phone. These charges may show up on your bill as premium services, according to AT&T.
So if you get a phone call from a foreign country, and you are not expecting it, restrain your curiosity and do not call back.
If you do return a missed call, watch for a + to appear ahead of the area code. The plus sign signals an international call being placed, which means international calling rates. If that is the case, hang up immediately.
In addition, if you hear an odd message, like “Hello … hello? … I’m having trouble hearing you. Hello? … Will you please call back?” hang up immediately. The longer you stay on the line, the more you are being charged for the call.