Missed Calls - A New Wave Of
Mobile Phone Scams
by: Marco Barra
Millions of mobile phone users are being subjected to a new wave of money
making scams currently being carried out by a number of rouge agents set on
taking advantage on the curiosity of the individuals they target.
The “Missed Call” scam is very basic and extremely effective, dependant on
no more than a return call from those mobile phone users trusting enough to
believe that someone is trying to contact them for genuine reasons.
So how does it work? – A computer is set up to pick numbers from a list and
calls them automatically. After one ring the computer hangs up and the targeted
handset indicates that a call has been missed. At this point completion of the
scam relies on the owner of the mobile phone returning the call shown as missed
on his/her handset.
Curiosity is the key factor on which the success of this scam has been
based, and the scammers know that a large percentage of phone users will almost
always return a missed call simply to find out the origin and purpose of
On returning the call, the owner of the targeted mobile phone is redirected
to a premium rate telephone service and increasingly without his/her knowledge.
The scammers then take this opportunity and ensure that the maximum amount of
money is made from the call by entering into a lengthy conversation, generally
relating to some bogus prize or competition.
Often, it is not until the monthly statement arrives that the targeted
individual realises that his/her phone has been subjected to a “Missed Call”
scam and charged excessive rates for the privilege.
At present there appears to be no immediate action which those exposed to
this scam can take to ensure that others do not suffer the same fate.
The best way to prevent this scam is to apply caution, and only return
missed calls to those numbers you recognise. And remember, if someone is
genuinely trying to get hold of you, they’ll call again.