Earlier we reported that Which? revealing a good third of people have been exposed to criminals sending out scam text message in the past six months, mentioning it as just one of many ways criminals will try and get you to part with your money. Another is what's referred to as the 'international missed call' or 'Wangiri' scam, which can fraudsters can use to milk you of every possible penny. Vodafone has just announced it's doing something to stop it from happening.
The premise of the Wangiri scam is quite simple. Criminals will call you and immediately hang up, in the hopes that the person on the other end will call back. The issue is that when they do they're connected to a premium rate international phone line, and the victim ends up with a significant bill - a chunk of which goes to the criminals.
Vodafone is tackling this issue by rolling out technology that prevents known Wangiri numbers from ever connecting in the first place. Similar to how the network has been blocking automated, criminal, and nuisance calls since 2016, this process is done automatically without the customer needing to opt in or fiddle with any settings to avoid being ripped off. o really you shouldn't even notice anything is happening.
Vodafone UK Chief Executive Nick Jeffery said:
“The message we’re sending to criminal gangs behind the Wangiri scam is don’t call our customers. We are determined to do what we can to stamp out fraudulent practices, whether it is false PPI calls or bogus accident claim calls coming from the UK or international phone rackets. We will also continue to share our intelligence with other mobile companies so we can act as one.”
Some calls might slip through, and if they do customers are encouraged to report them by texting CALL to 7726. That's free from a Vodafone number, and someone will be in touch to ask for the fraudster's number shortly afterwards.