Advice for consumers: ‘Wangiri’ missed call scams

05 September 2019

We have received reports of a rise in a type of scam known as ‘Wangiri’ phone calls.

These are calls in which the scammer will ring a person’s phone number but immediately hang up in the hope that the recipient will call back.

If the person calls the number back, they will then find themselves connected to an expensive number, such as an international number, which will be charged at a premium rate. This can leave them facing a costly charge for the call.

Some people say they have received several of these missed calls.

The calls mainly originate from small or developing countries. The most recent cases, for example, have included calls originating from countries like Botswana, Guinea and Guyana. These have dialling codes that begin with +267, +224, +592 respectively.

If you miss a call from a number you don’t recognise – particularly from overseas – don’t return the call.

Also, you should block any unfamiliar overseas and premium-rate numbers and share them with your phone company, so they can investigate.

We understand that O2 and EE customers have been targeted so far, but customers on all networks should check their accounts for recent payments to see if they have been unknowingly charged for calling one of these numbers.

If you think you have fallen victim to this scam, contact your provider as soon as possible, as well as Action Fraud, the UK’s national fraud reporting centre.

We also have guides on dealing with nuisance calls and messages, and ‘missed call’ scams.