The Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI), through its Social Media platforms, has warned Kenyans against international calls scam dubbed “Wangiri”. The scam is called ‘Wangiri’ which is Japanese for “One Ring and cut”.
The scam entails mobile phone users receiving missed calls from international phone numbers that they do not recognize.
The idea behind the missed call is to loop you in through your curiosity. You can experience the same incident a couple of times which will intrigue you more, making you believe that indeed someone is trying to get in contact with you from abroad.
The scam is widespread globally with warnings issued to mobile phone users in Japan, UK, New Zealand and Canada among other countries.
The missed call relies on your innate nature to return missed calls and the repetitive nature only serves to purportedly elevate the importance of the call. Once you call back the number, the call will be rerouted to a premium rate number overseas and you will be billed exorbitant amounts while listening to pre-recorded messages well versed to make you stay on the line. That is how you will be ripped off.
The DCI says that if you receive such unwarranted calls, you should first know that you were not targeted. The fraudsters generate missed calls to random mobile numbers that could include yours. Avoid returning the missed calls, especially if you do not recognize the phone number.
The international mobile number is merely a ploy to heighten your curiosity. If you call back and the fraudster successfully rips you off your airtime, chances are they will keep calling you.
If you have called the number and are now aware of the scam, you can also call your mobile provider and help to block the numbers.
Following the warning, many netizens shared their experiences with the “Wangiri” scam.