CAT Telecom on Tuesday urged people not to return missed phone calls from strange numbers, as they could become victims of so-called ‘Wangiri fraud’ gangs.
CAT vice president Danan Suphataraphan said the gangs used their computers to randomly call targets, hanging up after just one ring, hoping that the recipient would return the missed call and face expensive international long-distance call charges.
The word ‘Wangiri’ is used to describe the fraud as it comes from a Japanese term meaning ‘one ring’.
The scammers set up their numbers with services that share the profits from the long-distance call charges, he added.
The CAT executive explained that when a victim called back, they would be directed to an automatic call centre and would face very high charges based on each minute they were on-line, and the seconds would be rounded up to an additional minute.
The state telecom agency tries to block numbers that are seen to be conducting Wangiri practices, but the gangs are always changing the numbers they use for the scam, he added.
The numbers used in Wangiri fraud often have the prefixes +685, +675, +505, +1767 and +1473.