The Silent Call “Wangiri Fraud”

One ring from an international number that you do not recognize that drops immediately. That is a sign that your a victim of the famous Wangiri Fraud. deriving its name from the Japanese, Wangiri means ‘One ring and drop’. The catch is, if the victim return the call, they get to be charged exaggerated call rates.

Auto-dialers are also used to make many short-duration calls, mainly to mobile devices, leaving a missed call number which is either premium rate or contains advertising messages, in the hope that the victim will call back. This is known as Wangiri (literally, “One (ring) and cut”) from Japan where it originated.

In 2018, Michael Felix through an article on ITWebAfrica blog post gave caution on this fraud that had taken a rising trend in Kenya and most countries across East Africa, The warning was also echos by the Communications Authority of Kenya giving cautions against unknown international call. The fraudsters are keen to exploit the human naive side of returning calls, and when a victim finds a missed call on their phone from an international number, the most cautious thing to do is to return the call. but the moment you do that, the call is routed through the most expensive premiums rate that live the victim out of airtime within seconds.

Wangiri Cycle

Earlier on this month, Feb 2020, the fraud was back again, targeting Kenyans. A lot of people got this calls from unknown international numbers. Calls from Kinsasha (+243), Burundi (+257), Malawi (+265), Tunisia (+216), Pakistan (+92), Russia (+7), Nigeria (+234), Guyana (+592), Belarus (+375), Liberia (+216), Comoros (+269) and Liberia (+231) came in and victims would find the missed calls.

The criminals who perpetrator this events normally buy the contacts from various sources including the Dark web, third party to online registration forms that contains contacts, old not secured record books, unsecured systems that hold personal identifiable information etc. This criminals after getting the data, they target all hoping for the non-aware random victims to fall for the bait and call back.

How to not be a victim.

  1. When you find an unknown call from an international number, do not return the call.
  2. Don’t trust caller ID’s One can change the caller ID on the most common caller identifier True Caller.
  3. Do report the calling ID to your service provider using your best preferred method.
  4. Block/ blacklist international numbers that call you and you do not have any connections to.
  5. As an organization, ask the phone company to place a price cap on your calls billing.

Also, if you hear from people you know that are affected as well, don’t worry. The scammers have not hacked your telephone address book. It is a common scam that is doing the rounds, and so you will hear more about it.

One thought on “The Silent Call “Wangiri Fraud”

  1. I received this call a few days ago. Thank God I did not return the call.

    You should be doing more of this advisory blogs. You will a life one day.

    Thank you

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