This scam from the mid-2000’s seems to be making a sneaky come back and it appears they have gotten their hands on some BW numbers database. Quite a few people have fallen victim this year already. Beware!
𝐇𝐨𝐰 𝐝𝐨𝐞𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐒𝐂𝐀𝐌 𝐰𝐨𝐫𝐤?
• The scammer hires an international premium rate number (IPRN) from a Mobile Network company (MNO).
• Next, through the number they give you what’s called a “one ring and cut” i.e.: one ring and then disconnect the call.
• Thinking you missed an important call (what with it being international!!), you feel inclined to call back the same number and ((BOOM)) you’ve caught the bait!
• Once the call connects either one of two things happens: a) there’s not answer OR b) elevator music plays (to keep you on longer/run the clock on you).
• Eventually (maybe a minute later), out of frustration you’ll hang up. BUT at this point it’s too late as you would’ve lost quite a tonne of airtime (cash). Note: you’ve not only called an international number but one that is specifically premium rate (IPRN).
𝐇𝐨𝐰 𝐝𝐨 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐬𝐜𝐚𝐦𝐦𝐞𝐫𝐬 𝐠𝐚𝐢𝐧?
• They make a commission from the phone companies whose premium rate number they use to scam. Noting that it could be anything from $1 per call, the math truly maths 💁 - if you get a good enough sample of victims.
𝐂𝐚𝐧 𝐘𝐨𝐮 𝐆𝐞𝐭 𝐘𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐌𝐨𝐧𝐞𝐲 𝐁𝐚𝐜𝐤?
• Unfortunately not. You cannot get the money back as it is already charged for the call that you made yourself. The scammer simply offers you a bait and you take it 😉. You make the call in response to the missed call on your own will. So, the local phone networks are legally allowed to collect the charges from you.
𝐇𝐨𝐰 𝐭𝐨 𝐚𝐯𝐨𝐢𝐝 𝐛𝐞𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐝𝐨𝐨𝐩𝐞𝐝!
I could go through a Schpiel but the short of it is:
• Do not pick any call that is coming from other countries where the phone number is unrecognized.
• 𝐃𝐎 𝐍𝐎𝐓 𝐂𝐀𝐋𝐋 𝐈𝐓 𝐁𝐀𝐂𝐊!
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