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Wangiri fraud on the rise

According to MyBroadband Vodacom, MTN, and Cell C have seen an increase in Wangiri phone fraud in South Africa. South African mobile subscribers recently reported that they are receiving an increasing volume of missed calls from unknown international numbers. Calls originate from across Africa and Europe, including Guinea, France, and Belgium.

Wangiri is a form of phone fraud which originated in Japan. Wangiri translates to “one (ring) and cut”. The racketeers hire a premium rate number from a telecom service provider and call random phone numbers via an auto dialer function, letting it ring once and then disconnecting the call. An automatic dialer (auto dialer) is an electronic device or software that automatically dials telephone numbers. Once the call has been answered, the auto dialler either plays a recorded message or connects the call to a live person. (Wikipedia)

A missed call shows on the victim’s phone and he returns the call since he believes the call was intended for him. Subsequently, he ends up paying an exorbitant amount which goes into the account of the scammers.

Both CellC and MTN have sent their customers a warning not to return any missed calls. Do not call back a number you do not recognise. If it is a legitimate call, the caller will call you back or leave a voicemail. 

Wangiri is just one example of phone fraud. Read more on other variations on Wikipedia.



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