Earlier this year, 43 million Americans had already been scammed by fake calls on mobile devices. A whopping $10.5 billion already was lost in 2018 due to these calls. And there's at least three spam calls that an American receives in a day, thus, making the country one of the top 10 most scammed countries in the world, based on the survey.
This tremendous number of illegal activities continues to increase over time, and Americans seemed to be one of their primary targets. Including the famous tactic of 'Wangiri.'
What is 'Wangiri'?
Wangiri is a Japanese term for scam calls meaning 'one call and drop.' This scam takes place once your device received an unknown or unregistered call. The scammer will make a call to your number and then hung up. In this time, you will feel curious about who is on the other line, which will be the bait for these scammers.
As you call the unknown number to identify who's calling, the scammer will provide different scenarios to keep you on listening on the phone. Things like 'you've won a lottery, wait for the final instructions at the end of the line' or 'Hello? I can't hear you. Can you please call back?.' Once you fell on this trap, you will feel obliged to call them for another time and ended up losing money with your calls—which will make the scammers earn a huge amount.
Wangiri Focuses on International Calls
Federal Communications Commission already made a warning statement to all cellphone users to be alert on receiving and calling back unknown numbers, especially if they're overseas. Though not all international calls can be a scam, this is the main platform that scammers use.
"Do not call back numbers you do not recognize, especially those appearing to originate overseas," said the FCC.
Aside from the US, other countries around the world also reported the same tactics of Wangiri. Warnings about this scam were spread out in the United Kingdom, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, and many more.
FCC reiterated their fight against this style of money laundering and encouraged victims to report these incidents on their agency once experienced. However, according to FCC, there are things that you can do to curb these tactics and not be a falling victim.
How to Stop Wangiri Scam
Don't Answer International Calls
If you're not expecting a call from anyone overseas, do not answer unrecognized calls from different countries. This is the first step to make sure that you will not fall victim to these Wangiri scams or other scams.
Block International Calls
To make sure that no one will really call you for a scam tactic, you can easily tell your phone company to block all outgoing calls received internationally to stop them from even entering your mobile device.
Drop the call immediately
If you already answered a call from a suspected scam, make sure to drop it immediately. In this way, you will not be charged with a premium rate and you will safely turn your back to Wangiri scammers.