Attackers are targeting UAE customer with ‘one ring and cut’ phone scams called Wangiri scam which could land victim’s with huge bills.
Scammers give the victims a quick miss call, and people who ring back the missed call are directed to premium rate number.
The victims are made to listen to an automated message and would not be able to disconnect the call until it’s finished. The victims would be charged around US $50 per minute for the call.
The calls are from numbers starting with +27 or +674 and are originated from Nauru, Liberia, Chad, Cooks Island, Tunisia, Mauritania.
Once they return the calls, victims will also start receiving text messages and phishing links related fake lotteries and prize money.
The scammer will have a deal with telecom company of the country where the calls are originated. The revenue generated from calls will be shared with scammers.
Dozens of the cases have been already reported, and many users have also reported about the international calls that are immediately disconnected through social media platform.
The Wangiri scam first spotted in Japan and their latest target the residents of UAE.
David Michaux, director of technical security services of Whispering Bell, said that the scammers use an automatic dialer which calls a series of number in a defined range. The dialer call number for one ring and then disconnect.
“When the caller tries to return the call they get connected to a recorded message which is billing at a premium rate. The scam is put together to try and keep the user on the line as long as possible, so small tricks are also employed to achieve this. For example, as soon as you dial the number, you’re automatically connected. Although you will hear a ringing sound, this is actually part of the recording, thus keeping you on the line longer.” said David Michaux to The National UAE .
The telecom companies in UAE have warned customers not to return to calls from unknown numbers or overseas number and never give personal and financial details over the phone.