Wangiri One Ring… Don’t Call Back

The Federal Communications Commission FCC is warning that the One Ring or Wangiri scam (Japanese for ‘one ring and drop’) is back. This scam preys on unknowing victims, with robocalls to mobile phones in the middle of the night. Scammers often use international numbers from regions that begin with three-digit codes – for example, “649” goes to the Turks and Caicos and “809” goes to the Dominican Republic.

The latest efforts also use spoofing to mask the number in the caller ID display. When victims unwittingly dial a phone number outside the U.S., they are charged a fee for connecting, and significant per-minute fees. The scammer then tries to keep victims on the phone. According to the FCC there are variations of this con which rely on voice-mail messages urging recipients to call a number with an unfamiliar area code to “collect a prize” or notifications about a “sick” relative.

The charges are likely to be classified on phone bills as premium services.

Avoid the Wangiri One Ring Scam

Warn Employees
• Be cautious, even if a number appears authentic.
• Do not to answer or return any calls from unrecognized numbers.
• Before calling unfamiliar numbers, search online to determine if the area code is international.
• Don’t hang, on hang up to limit the damage and reduce the charges.

Managed Mobility Service (MMS) Providers Can Help
• Ask your MMS provider arrange for the phone company to block outgoing international calls for employees that do not make international calls.
• Ask your MMS provider to search invoices for charges classified on phone bills as premium services made as a result of this scam.
• MMS providers may be able to resolve charges on your behalf with the phone company.

File a Complaint
Victims of the Wangiri One Ring international phone scam, should file a complaint with the FCC and and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)

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