In the past month or so, Kenyans have been receiving calls from a phone number with an area code outside Kenya.
DCI posted a warning to alert Kenyans to report the numbers to their telecom carrier and refrain from calling them back.
DCI branded the scan as the Wangiri fraud.
“IT ENTAILS RECEIVING MISSED CALLS FROM INTERNATIONAL NUMBERS YOU DON’T RECOGNISE ON A MOBILE/FIXED-LINE PHONE.
The fraudsters generating the calls hope that their expensive international numbers will be called back so that they can profit. The term Wangiri is Japanese for “one (ring) and cut.”
AND AS THE NAME WOULD IMPLY, IT’S A GENUINELY INTERNATIONAL SCAM, WITH VICTIMS DISTRIBUTED ACROSS THE WORLD. WARNINGS ABOUT THE SCAM HAVE APPEARED IN KENYAN, THE U.K., CANADIAN, IRISH, AND NEW ZEALAND MEDIA, AMONG OTHERS.”
“WANGIRI SCAM RELIES UPON ONE’S INNATE CURIOSITY. MANY PEOPLE WOULD INSTINCTIVELY RETURN A MISSED CALL, EVEN FROM A MYSTERIOUS INTERNATIONAL NUMBER. AND THE REPETITIVE NATURE OF THE SCAM ADDS TO THE INTRIGUE AND PRESSURE.
The aim of the scam is to encourage those who get a missed call to ring the number, after which they will be ripped off as the call will be re-routed to premium rate number overseas and will be subsequently billed exorbitant sums for listening to pre-recorded messages.
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO IF YOU GET A SUSPECTED WANGIRI CALL? IF YOU RECEIVE CALLS LIKE THIS, BE ASSURED THAT YOU HAVEN’T BEEN SPECIFICALLY TARGETED.
It’s likely that the fraudster has generated a missed call to a whole range of mobile numbers that happens to include yours.
We recommend that you don’t return calls to international numbers that you don’t recognise.
CALLS TO WANGIRI NUMBERS WILL OFTEN RESULT IN A CHARGE BEING INCURRED AND ENCOURAGE THE FRAUDSTER TO GENERATE MORE MISSED CALLS TO CUSTOMERS WHO CHOOSE TO CALL BACK.
If the worst happens and you return the Wangiri call, we encourage you to call your mobile service provider, explain the situation & help them block some of these numbers.”