The ‘missed phone call’ scam costing Aussies hundreds of dollars
Numerous cases in the past week alone.
By Laura Barry
October 04 2019
Internet scams, phone call scams and identity theft are a sad reality of the digital age. Although most of us use the powers of technology to stay in touch with loved ones and shop online, many people use it to scam innocent Australians out of hundreds, sometimes thousands, of dollars
There has recently been an increased number of reports of Australians being targeted by a ‘missed phone call’ scam that causes victims to lose money the moment they ring the number back.
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The scammer will call you, sometimes just a few rings, or just long enough for you to answer and say hello, then hang up. The victim then sees a missed call and rings back. The moment you call back, this call will be charged at a massive premium, and the scammer will try to keep you on the phone with music, random chatter or questions, costing you hundreds of dollars.
As the call operates like a 1900 number or mobile premium service, a large percentage of the call charge is passed on to the scammer by your service provider.
Australian government organisation Scamwatch tweeted that they received 19 reports of this scam in the last week.
NSW police also shared their own warning about the scam on October 1, and the post has since gotten more than 400 comments, more than 800 shared and more than 600 reactions from people sharing their own stories of scams and advice.
How to avoid this scam:
- Block international phone numbers and calls from children’s phone so they don’t accidentally return a missed call.
- Ignore any unexpected international calls.
- Block the offending number
- Be wary of ‘unknown’ phone numbers
- If you have fallen victim to this scam, speak to your telco provider about your options, or the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman if you aren’t happy with the result from your provider.
Originally published as The ‘missed phone call’ scam costing Aussies hundreds of dollars