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Wangiri fraud

Wangiri fraud definition

Wangiri fraud is a phone scam. The term 'Wangiri' originates from Japan and translates to 'one ring and cut.' During it, the targeted person receives a call from an international number that rings only once or for a very short duration. It’s meant to encourage curious recipients to call back. When they do return the call, they are often connected to expensive premium rate numbers. The scammers profit from these return calls.

See also: vishing, smishing

History of the Wangiri scam

The Wangiri scam has been around since the early 2000s. It has seen a resurgence with the popularity of mobile phones. Its origins are traced back to Japan, but the scam has since become global, affecting users in many countries.

Avoiding the Wangiri scam

  • If you don't recognize an international number, it's best not to return the call.
  • There are online directories and forums where users report scammers’ numbers. A quick search can help identify if the number has been flagged.
  • Modern smartphones allow users to block specific numbers, so you can prevent further scam attempts.
  • Reporting the scam to your service provider can help them take action and warn other users.
  • Awareness is key. Staying updated on the latest scams can help you recognize and avoid them.