What is wangiri, this telephone scam that can cost you dearly?

What is wangiri, this telephone scam that can cost you dearly?
What is wangiri, this telephone scam that can cost you dearly?

Abusive telephone canvassing remains a scourge that affects many French people. According to a UFC-Que Choisir survey published in December 2023, 72% of respondents explain receiving at least one call per week from telephone advisors, and 38% are contacted every day. In addition, 35% of those surveyed said they answer unknown numbers, and this is a very bad habit.

A very sneaky scam

Indeed, as explained Full Life, a form of scam is being deployed massively in France and takes the name wangiri which means call and cut in Japanese. The principle of this scam is as simple as pie. Your phone rings, you answer, but no one speaks on the line. Your interlocutor hangs up immediately without saying a single word.

For what ? It tries to trick you into calling back the number in question. If you do so, you will then be redirected to a paid number and the bill can quickly become steep if you wait too long. For these malicious actors, the opportunity can be lucrative, as they increase the number of calls, often resorting to automated solutions.

Be careful, however, if the phone rings then the person immediately hangs up, it is not necessarily wangiri, as our colleagues rightly point out. You may also be dealing with a telemarketing campaign that uses a predictive dialing system. It will then attempt to connect you to an advisor, but the operation may fail, which will end the call abruptly.

How to avoid the worst?

As we will have understood, now is the time more than ever to be vigilant in the face of these scammers who deploy their scams on a large scale using the latest technologies. The best advice we can give you is to never answer unknown numbers, which will allow you to avoid many dangers. If a legitimate contact wishes to contact you urgently, they will always be able to leave you a message on the answering machine or by SMS.

You can also block unknown numbers directly in your phone settings, or opt for an app that identifies unwanted calls. Finally, and even if this service remains fallible, you can register your number on the Bloctel service offered by the government. In a previous article, we also returned to the telephone codes used by direct sellers in France.

What you must remember :

  • 35% of French people still answer unknown numbers
  • This is a mistake, because you risk running into a wangiri
  • This scam involves calling you and hanging up in order to have you call back a premium rate number

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