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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