Wangiri phone scam targeting Australians

Recent media reports have been warning consumers about overseas missed call (or ‘Wangiri’) scams.

‘Wangiri’ is a Japanese term which roughly means ‘one and cut’. In these scams, a scammer will call you and let it ring once then hang up without leaving a message, so a missed call will appear on your phone from an international number.

If you call the number back, you may be put on hold, hear music playing or the scammer could try and chat with you. The scammer’s objective is to keep you on the line for as long as possible as your call will be charged at a premium rate.

Protect yourself tips

  • If you receive an unexpected missed call from an international number you don’t recognise, ignore it.
  • If you are receiving repeated missed calls, block the number.
  • Consider blocking international calls on mobiles used by children. This prevents a child from accidentally calling an international number themselves.
  • When dealing with uninvited contacts from people or businesses, whether it’s over the phone, by mail, fax, email, in person or on a social networking site, always consider the possibility that the approach may be a scam.
  • Spread the word to your friends and family to protect them.

Have you been scammed?

  • If you’ve returned one of these calls and receive a large bill, contact your telecommunications provider to discuss your options.
  • If you’re dissatisfied after dealing with your service provider, you can contact the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman.(link is external)
  • We encourage you to report scams to the ACCC via the Report a scam page.

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