What is Wangiri fraud?
We’ve been hearing the term Wangiri fraud thrown around lately, and thought it merited a post to explain what exactly it means.
Wangiri, in Japanese, means “one-and-cut.” That is, one ring and a cut off the phone call. A wangiri phone fraud scheme relies on this single ring method for a quick way to make money. It works like this:
- A fraudster sets up a computer to dial a large number of phone numbers at random. Each rings just once, then hangs up.
- This leaves a number as a missed call on each recipients’ phone.
- Subscribers see the missed call and believe a legitimate call was cut off, or are simply curious as to who called. So they dial the missed number.
- The number turns out to be a premium rate number—anything from advertising, to “free prizes,” to sex services.
This particular flavor of phone fraud originated in Japan, where it has proved to be a major irritation. Since then, it has gradually spread to other fraudsters around the world.
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