Wednesday 12 December 2018

Customers warned over costly scam mobile calls

Stock photo
Stock photo
Adrian Weckler

Adrian Weckler

Tens of thousands of scam mobile phone calls are sweeping across the country in an "unprecedented" surge, according to Ireland's operators.

The calls, often with international prefixes such as +231 or +269, are designed to trick people into phoning back at premium rates.

"It would appear all Irish mobile number ranges have undergone an unprecedented attack in recent weeks," said a spokeswoman for Three, Ireland's second-largest operator.

The scam is known as a 'Wangiri' call, which is Japanese for "one [ring] and cut", because the phone typically rings just once or twice. The scammers hope that people will automatically call back without looking too closely at the number.

"The longer someone stays on the phone, the higher the charge will be," said a spokeswoman for Eir, previously known as Meteor.

While many of the calls come with prefixes from countries such as Liberia (+231) or the Comoros Islands (+269), some members of the public have reported calls using the Austrian prefix of +43.

Irish Independent

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