Czech Telecommunication Office over time warns again before fraudulent calls from abroad to domestic mobile numbers. The attackers of the fraud known as “wangiri” have again chosen the Czech Republic as their target, when they only ring and expect you to call them back for a missed call. Definitely do not do this, because fraudsters call from a foreign number and such a call would be charged as an international call. Complaints are almost impossible in such a case, because the caught customer called back of his own free will.
In recent days, attacks have been directed at customers of all domestic operators. This is a call from various phone numbers with area codes of exotic countries or territories – currently it is most often Sri Lanka with area code +94, but there may be others (eg +216 Tunisia, +225 Ivory Coast, +247 Ascension, +265 Malawi , +678 Vanuatu and others). Scammers try numbers randomly, so they can call anyone.
This is how the fraudsters called us on the editorial number some time ago. Some smartphones can already detect fraudulent calls themselves
At the same time, they often rely on the fact that one confuses one of the international prefixes with the prefix of the local fixed telephone number. For example, a prefix starting with +225 (Ivory Coast) may resemble a Prague telephone number, but beware – the Czech prefix is +420, so a call from a Prague landline would be displayed as +420 225 xxx xxx. Smartphones usually display the country of origin of the call, but for older devices only the number is visible.
How not to fly?
To unknown phone numbers from abroad never call back. For all operators, such calls are calculated according to special prices for calls abroad. If you accidentally pick up an incoming call, nothing happens, you do not pay anything for incoming calls (if you are in the Czech Republic or in the EU). On the contrary, at that moment, a fraudster would pay for the call. However, it is best not to answer such calls at all, and as a precaution, if your smartphone supports this feature, save them to the list of blocked numbers.
All wangiri operators are constantly monitoring and trying to block fraudulent numbers, but attackers usually have the entire number range available, so blocking by the operator can never be 100% – only to block the area code of the entire selected country, which it cannot. Most operators allow customers to block outgoing calls abroad free of charge (eg in an Internet self-service or on an infoline), but then you will not be able to call any telephone number outside the Czech network.
Principle of echo fraud (so-called “wangiri”):
Scammers who organize the wangiri (or also “one ring and cut”) scenario implement it through alternative or IP operators who do not respect the valid number series for telephone numbers. A customer who calls back to Algeria, for example, will not actually make a call to that country because he is being diverted. The fraudster then benefits from interconnection fees. It is almost impossible to find the perpetrator.