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Overseas Phone Fraud (Wangiri)

Community Manager
  • Contributors:

Recently, there have been reports of ongoing fraud stemming from overseas-based numbers that result in expensive long distance charges for the victim.

 

How it works

 

The victim will receive a call from an overseas number that will ring once or twice or just long enough for the number to appear on their caller ID. These numbers are premium-rate overseas phone numbers that charge high rates on top of your normal long distance rate. The intent is for you to return the call. Once the scammer has you on the line, they will try to make you stay on the call for as long as possible to run up the charges.

 

What You Can Do

 

Don’t call back. If it’s a number you don’t recognize, confirm that it’s someone you know. Most of these numbers originate overseas.

 

Identify the country by googling the first few 2-3 digits of the phone number. If you do know someone from that country but you’re still unsure, confirm with the person through email, Facebook, Whatsapp, etc, first. 

 

What TELUS is Doing

 

When phoning countries known for Wangiri fraud, callers will hear a message warning about the possibility of additional charges.

 

Our Fraud Management team is actively looking for and blocking specific international number ranges to protect you.


Have more questions? Contact us.

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Comments
Community Power User
Community Power User

Thanks!  Just turned down a cashier's cheque for a million dollars and a new Mercedes. Seems they couldn't simply mail me the cheque so I could buy airfare to pick up the car myself!

 

After about 5 minutes of the guy telling me how he couldn't just send it to me he very impolitely hung up! 

 

canucks4life
Ambassador

Another one in the news today...$5.1mil definitely ain't chump change.

 

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/toronto/fraudsters-bilk-51-million-from-torontonians-in-phone-s...

Community Power User
Community Power User

With Tax time just around the corner, the CRA scam will be back in full force as well.

 

Never buy gift cards, iTunes cards etc as “payment” 😀

BillTelusCust
Ambassador

So why not just block all calls to "premium rate" numbers worldwide?  Telus should be collecting money involved in legitimate and "normal rate" call transport only.

MLK1
Just Moved In

Can you please provide an update on what TELUS is doing to help its customers who are still being affected by this scam?? I have called to asked about blocking international calls and I've been told you cannot help us and to just call the Anti Fraud Centre. This is contrary to what you have stated above as ""Our Fraud Management team is actively looking for and blocking specific international number ranges to protect you."

 

So has your Fraud Management team no longer investigating and helping its customers?

Community Power User
Community Power User

@MLK1 you do realize it’s a never ending game of wack-a-mole. With technology you can spoof numbers with a few mouse clicks and skirt around blocks. The criminal element always find ways to keep scams going.

 

Telus can only do so much or any phone provider or ISP for that matter. Be vigilant and use a little common sense. Companies are working in the background to protect its customers the best they can.

BillTelusCust
Ambassador

I'll tell you one thing they could do right away which would help a lot of it:

 

Most providers allow us to block 900 calls within Canada and USA.

They need to block by default any and all foreign "premium" numbers.

 

A phone system is a communication system, and should function as such.  If it isn't legal to block foreign premium numbers, then change the laws.

 

For example, if I am to be able  to call the UK for $.02 per minute, then every phone number I can reach should be $.02 per minute.  Any calls that are more than that, don't allow them to be called from here.

 

Another thing, there is more advanced software to track phone calls other than "originating number".  There's a company in Texas which sells this software.  Identify these trunk providers that are facilitating these calls and threaten to shut them down.

The CRA numbers they use to scam actually complete calls when you call back.  So these numbers can be traced, at least to the company that is providing the.  It isn't the same as the mexican resort scam where they spoof numbers.

 

There ARE things that can be done and I am certainly not satisfied with the efforts thus far.

 

I met a friend of mine a couple of weeks ago.  I had received one of these "ring then hang up calls" before I met up with him.  Shortly after he picked me up, his phone rang with the same number.  It can't be that hard to identify phone numbers that are ringing thousands or millions of phones for two rings each.