Have you had an unexpected missed call recently?
Have you received a missed call from Cuba, Ascension Island, Cameroon, Slovenia or another international destination?
Many of our customers are reporting an increase in missed calls from international destinations on their home and mobile phones. No message is left by the caller, and in some cases, several calls are received over a short period of time.
What’s going on you ask? Well, it’s a scam – one designed to tempt you into calling back. I’ve even received several of these calls myself.
Whatever you do, please do not call the number back.
This is a modern variation on a scam that has been around for many years. Scam callers set up international numbers and target a large number of telephone numbers (mobile and fixed) across a multitude of countries, including Australia.
These calls may arrive at any time and in some cases, multiple times to make you feel as though the calls are intentional and therefore enticing you to call back. The call then may be connected to a premium number, where the caller is put on hold after connecting, resulting in a large bill.
Have you had a mysterious missed call from overseas? ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard advises mobile phone users to avoid returning these unexpected missed calls. pic.twitter.com/JdcufSctqj
— Scamwatch_gov_au (@Scamwatch_gov) February 11, 2018
Our advice is:
- Don’t call back any missed calls to numbers you don’t recognise (particularly international numbers)
- Block unwanted numbers – this can be done via your mobile handset
- If you have children with mobiles, you may want to check whether they have International access, and if so request through your service provider that this is barred.
- If you have elderly relatives or friends let them know about the scam so they do not return the call
We need to keep our eyes and ears open as there is not much we can do about these callers. It is an industry-wide issue affecting all carriers and countries.
If you have been caught out and ended up with a large bill – please give us a call to discuss.
And remember – don’t return calls to international destinations you don’t recognise!