What to do if you're getting scam phone calls?
Recently, Ireland has been plagued with scam phone calls as part of the Wangiri fraud. If you've been getting some unwelcome calls, here are a few things you can do about it.
Essentially, an unknown number calls your phone but quickly hangs up, leaving you with a missed call notification. If you ring back, the call will drain your phone of credit or leave you with a pricey bill.
There are countless apps available on the internet that claim to block unwanted scam callers. We found three that are both free and have a review rating of 4 out 5 stars or higher.
Hiya claims to identify the important calls you want to take and blocks numbers that you want to avoid. The current version has been given 4.5 stars by users.
Mr. Number: Call Block & Reverse Lookup calls itself the industry-leading solution to identifying and blocking spam and fraud calls. The current version has been given 4.5 stars by users.
Truecaller: Caller ID, SMS spam blocking & Dialer aims to identify unknown calls, block spam calls and spam SMS. The current version has been given 4.5 stars by users.
Unfortunately, there is not just one specific country code to look out for. Reported numbers have come from Liberia (+231), Nauru (+674), Mauritania (+222), Chad (+235) and more.
Alison Spittle: "00224660009206 got a call off this number from Guinea, put me on hold telling me to wait while I was put through to a financial advisor. WTF"
According to ComReg, Ireland’s communications regulator, there is no way to identify a scam call number, as "they can resemble a very normal, familiar, geographical or international number". However, they have shared some top tips to follow.
- Be wary of multiple calls/missed calls being received from the same number that you are unfamiliar with
- Do not call back any number that you don’t recognise where there is a blank or no voicemail message left
- If you dial back an unknown number by mistake – hang up immediately on calls where there appears to be no recipient on the other end or where you are left on hold
- If you have friends or relatives abroad that may be calling you, store their number (including the country prefix) in your phone and be aware of the prefix for the country where they might be calling from
- If you are getting persistent missed calls from an unknown number, contact your service provider and let them know
- Do not provide any personal information for example – banking details/PPS number/credit card details/name and address/passport numbers etc.