Wednesday May 22, 2019
KARACHI: Citizens in Pakistan warned each other on social networking platforms and messaging apps after a notorious 'on-ring' resurfaced in the country last week.
A number of citizens received phone calls from unknown international numbers, raising the alarm about 'Wangiri' or 'one-ring' scam.
Wangiri, having originated in Japan, means "one ring and disconnect" and enables scammers to generate robocalls to hundreds of thousands of consumers — mainly to mobile devices.
It ends with a missed call notification on the receiving end, prompting the receiver to call back. The scam tricks these thousands of receivers into dialing an international number, and hence, being exposed to the risk of getting charged heavily for a connecting fee and significant per-minute charges.
After the calls did the rounds, scores of citizens circulated warnings and messages on social media and instant messaging apps.
One such message forwarded on WhatsApp read:
"Very Very Urgent ...
Please pass this message to your family and friends NOW.
People have been receiving calls from
or any number starting from +371 +375 +381
These guys only ring once and hang up.
If you call back,they can copy your contact list in 3sec and if you have a bank or credit card details on your phone, they can copy that too...
+375 code is for Belarus.
+371 code is for Lativa.
Don't answer or Call back.
Also, Don't Press
#90 or #09
on your Mobile when asked by any caller.
It's a new trick which is use to access your SIM card, make calls at your expense and frame you as a criminal.
URGENTLY FORWARD this message to as many friends as you can to stop any intrusion!!!"
Such anonymous calls were first reported in 2012 by citizens in Australia.
A few reports suggested that by calling back on these suspicious international numbers one may have his cellular data compromised.
However, concerned authorities have denied these reports and possibility of data being compromised in the wake of a phone call at such numbers.