What is Wangiri fraud and How to Detect it?


Wangiri is a Japanese word that means ‘one ring and drop’, and that’s exactly how it works. Fraudsters using this scam will ring you from a premium or international number and leave a missed call, in hope that you’ll call them back.

What is Wangiri fraud?

Wangiri is a Japanese word that means ‘one ring and drop’, and that’s exactly how it works. Fraudsters using this scam will ring you from a premium or international number and leave a missed call, in hope that you’ll call them back.

If you do, the fraudsters will try keep you on the line for as long as possible. That way, you’ll run up expensive call charges, which will end up in the fraudster’s bank account.

This scam is known to target both mobile and landline phones, so you should always be aware when you receive missed calls from numbers you don’t know.

How to detect Wangiri fraud?

If you receive what appears to be a suspicious call from an international number, do not call the number back. You can use Google to check the country code of any suspicious call you receive. If you are not expecting a call from anyone in that country don’t call them back.

If you do receive Wangiri calls, then it’s unlikely that you’ve been specifically targeted. Scammers get hold of phone numbers through data leaks and marketing databases, usually through illegitimate means. Yours is just one on a long list.

How to stop Wangiri calls

Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do to prevent Wangiri calls coming from new numbers. The best thing you can do is remain alert, so you don’t become a victim of the scam. If you do receive a call from a suspected Wangiri number, there are a few things you can do to prevent repeat calls.

What is Virgin Media doing to prevent Wangiri fraud?

Virgin Media actively monitor these types of calls; however, we cannot block them completely. Whenever one of our customers falls victim to one of these wangiri attacks, we ask that they contact Customer Care on 789 and provide them with the number they were called on. We’ll then pass the number on to our fraud team, who will bar it from the network.

I have called a Wangiri number. What should I do?

If you’ve called back the number, then unfortunately you may be liable for any charges incurred. Please contact Customer Care on 789 and we’ll go over your options. We’ll also ask that you give us the number you were contacted on so we can pass it to our fraud team, who will block the number from our network.

If you have been a victim of fraud, then we recommend you visit the Action Fraud website or call them on 0300 123 2040 and report the incident. Action Fraud is the reporting centre for fraud and cybercrime in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. You should also report the crime to Police by calling 101.

If debit cards, online banking or cheques are involved in the scam, then you should contact your bank or credit card company immediately.

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