Wangiri scam - don't call back!

Hi everyone,

There’s a crafty and conniving scam doing the rounds! It’s called the Wangiri scam. It works via an offender calling a mobile number and hanging up before the victim answers. The missed call is ‘spoofed’ to look like a national call. However, the offender is calling from an overseas location. The intention of the Wangiri scam is to make the victim return the call. However, there’s a catch! If the victim returns the call, they are charged international call rates – in some cases up to $50 per minute!

We’ve recently heard about similar calls to New Zealand business numbers where a recorded message is left in Chinese, purporting to be from the Chinese Embassy. The message asks that the call be returned. In these cases, the calls are received using a ‘spoofed’ New Zealand number. However, the calls are routed through various domestic carriers, making it difficult to block them.

This is why you’ll be fine so long as you DON’T CALL BACK!

For more information on the Wangiri Scam you can visit ScamAlert, NZHerald, ThisisMONEY.

1 Like

I experienced that Chinese scam. Gotta say that’s a real long shot phoning Kiwi numbers and hoping to find a Mandarin speaker.

Some technical rationalism here…

Yes, numbers can be spoofed. How this is done is not an issue for this post.

However, all of the following can not be true:

In the NZ Herald article, it shows the calls with caller ID’s starting with +216 and +88216, which are clearly international numbers.

+216-2 is a Tunisia mobile phone range.
+88-216 is a satellite phone range.

The NZ Herald, as usual, has not done their research properly. +886 is the country code for Taiwan, not +88, as they state.

While, technically, a local premium number (+64-900) could be spoofed, this would be a poor choice for the scammers due to telco policy.

Far better to try and trick people into calling overseas premium numbers. There is nothing complex about this scam. They called an international premium number and were charged accordingly.