The consumer watchdog is warning Aussies to be wary of a phone call scam that could see you rack up a pretty hefty phone bill.
Known as the “Wangiri” scam, the ACCC says the number in question is +88199730120 and sees a scammer call you from an international number and hang up after a single ring, without leaving a message.
“Wangiri” is a Japanese term which roughly means “one and cut” and crux of the scam sees you ring the number back where you’d then be put on hold, hear music playing or speak with the scammer.
The objective of the hoax is to keep you on the line for as long as possible as your call will be charged at a premium rate.
How to protect yourself from scammers
- If you receive an unexpected missed call from an international number you don’t recognise, ignore it.
- If you are receiving repeated missed calls, block the number.
- Consider blocking international calls on mobiles used by children. This prevents a child from accidentally calling an international number themselves.
- When dealing with uninvited contacts from people or businesses, whether it's over the phone, by mail, fax, email, in person or on a social networking site, always consider the possibility that the approach may be a scam.
- Spread the word to your friends and family to protect them.
Have you been scammed?
- If you’ve returned one of these calls and receive a large bill, contact your telecommunications provider to discuss your options.
- If you’re dissatisfied after dealing with your service provider, you can contact the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman.
- Scams can be reported to the ACCC via the Report a scam page.