Many people in the Netherlands have recently spotted a missed call from a number with the Cuban country code (+53) on their telephone. Those who return the call will be connected to a premium service number and will be charged a hefty amount of money.
This type of telephone fraud is known as wangiri scams, writes Dutch public broadcaster NOS. According to RTL News, the main target of these overseas calls have been people with a Tele2 subscription. The provider has responded on Twitter.
There hasn’t been a marked increase in the number of reports relating to wangiri scams. In the first months of 2016, as many as 400 reports came in to Fraud Help Desk. Last year, there were only a few dozen reports.
The recent telephone calls have been from numbers starting with +53. Here is how you can block these numbers on your smartphone:
Apple / iPhone:
– Go to Phone
– Tap on Recent
– Search for the overseas number
– Tap on the blue information icon to the right of this number
– Scroll down
– All the way down, click on ‘Block Caller’
– Tap on the Phone icon
– You should now see all the numbers of recent calls
– Tap on the arrow (“>”) next to the overseas number
– Tap on the three dots in the upper right corner
– Tap “Add to blacklist” / “Add to auto reject list”
Don’t answer a cold-call from abroad, unless you often make international calls of course.
Don’t be tempted to return a call. The chances are that this will turn out to be a costly, overpriced international call. Letting the phone ring is also risky. You may hear a taped message that sounds like the telephone is ringing, but all the time you’re connected to an expensive premium number.
Have you run up an usually high telephone bill because of international calls you know you didn’t make? In that case, report to the police and contact your provider. Phone companies have different policies on this issue, but you can always try to lodge a complaint and get your money back.