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Telecom companies warn of ‘Wangiri’ long-distance calling scam

Telecom companies warn of ‘Wangiri’ long-distance calling scam

MTC and Telecom Namibia this week issued a warning to their customers to avoid answering or responding to phone calls from unknown international numbers.

Telecom Namibia in a statement said some of its customers received several missed calls from the following number: +264 67 45578204, warning that although the country code and area code appear to that to be local, the number range is not.

“The number could be part of a phone scam called the ‘Wangiri Fraud,’ designed to keep callers on the line for as long as possible in order to run up costly long-distance charges,” Telecom Namibia spokesperson, Oiva Angula said.

These numbers are premium-rate overseas phone numbers that charge high rates on top of normal long-distance rate.

“Once the scammer has the you on the line, they will try to make you stay on the call for as long as possible to run up the charges. Telecom Namibia thus advise customers not to call back unknown international numbers. Customers are responsible for their own usage,” Angula said.

The ‘Wangiri’ fraud is also known as the ‘one ring and cut’ scam; wan means ‘one’ and ‘giri’ means ‘hang up’ in Japanese.

According to MTC, Wangiri is a phone fraud that originated in Japan. The call is made from a computer to many different mobile numbers.

“What will happen is that athe customer receives a missed call from from a foreign number and become curious and try and find out who called. So when a customer calls back they are answered by a machine and will be charged large amounts for the call made,” MTC said.

Meanwhile to avoid unwanted losses, the public has been advised to report any suspicious activity to the respective offices.

Caption: Illustration of the typical Wangiri calls.



About The Author

Donald Matthys

Donald Matthys has been part of the media fraternity since 2015. He has been working at the Namibia Economist for the past three years mainly covering business, tourism and agriculture. Donald occasionally refers to himself as a theatre maker and has staged two theatre plays so far. Follow him on twitter at @zuleitmatthys

Following reverse listing, public can now acquire shareholding in Paratus Namibia


20 February 2020, Windhoek, Namibia: Paratus Namibia Holdings (PNH) was founded as Nimbus Infrastructure Limited (“Nimbus”), Namibia’s first Capital Pool Company listed on the Namibian Stock Exchange (“NSX”).

Although targeting an initial capital raising of N$300 million, Nimbus nonetheless managed to secure funding to the value of N$98 million through its CPC listing. With a mandate to invest in ICT infrastructure in sub-Sahara Africa, it concluded management agreements with financial partner Cirrus and technology partner, Paratus Telecommunications (Pty) Ltd (“Paratus Namibia”).

Paratus Namibia Managing Director, Andrew Hall

Its first investment was placed in Paratus Namibia, a fully licensed communications operator in Namibia under regulation of the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN). Nimbus has since been able to increase its capital asset base to close to N$500 million over the past two years.

In order to streamline further investment and to avoid duplicating potential ICT projects in the market between Nimbus and Paratus Namibia, it was decided to consolidate the operations.

Publishing various circulars to shareholders, Nimbus took up a 100% shareholding stake in Paratus Namibia in 2019 and proceeded to apply to have its name changed to Paratus Namibia Holdings with a consolidated board structure to ensure streamlined operations between the capital holdings and the operational arm of the business.

This transaction was approved by the Competitions Commission as well as CRAN, following all the relevant regulatory approvals as well as the necessary requirements in terms of corporate governance structures.

Paratus Namibia has evolved as a fully comprehensive communications operator in Namibia and operates as the head office of the Paratus Group in Africa. Paratus has established a pan-African footprint with operations in six African countries, being: Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia.

The group has achieved many successes over the years of which more recently includes the building of the Trans-Kalahari Fibre (TKF) project, which connects from the West Africa Cable System (WACS) eastward through Namibia to Botswana and onward to Johannesburg. The TKF also extends northward through Zambia to connect to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, which made Paratus the first operator to connect the west and east coast of Africa under one Autonomous System Number (ASN).

This means that Paratus is now “exporting” internet capacity to landlocked countries such as Zambia, Botswana, the DRC with more countries to be targeted, and through its extensive African network, Paratus is well-positioned to expand the network even further into emerging ICT territories.

PNH as a fully-listed entity on the NSX, is therefore now the 100% shareholder of Paratus Namibia thereby becoming a public company. PNH is ready to invest in the future of the ICT environment in Namibia. The public is therefore invited and welcome to acquire shares in Paratus Namibia Holdings by speaking to a local stockbroker registered with the NSX. The future is bright, and the opportunities are endless.