The Office of Electronic Communications receives signals from subscribers and telecommunications entrepreneurs themselves about a disturbing phenomenon, which recently has been used by fraudsters again.
The matter is related to a method of cheating subscribers (mainly mobile networks users) by using their tendency to call back missed calls. Such calls are frequently made in the evening and at night, which is a deliberate action intended to prompt the user to call back. The mechanism of the procedure is relatively simple and is based mainly on the inattention and excessive trust of the users themselves.
Most often the call is made from an "exotic" country, e.g. the Republic of Congo or the Ivory Coast, i.e. the countries whose international area codes (+243) and (+225) appearing on the user's phone display as missed calls may suggest that those are domestic calls. The beginning of the international area code e.g. of the Republic of Congo (+243.....) or the Ivory Coast (+225...) may be mistaken by the user for a domestic area code, e.g. 22 - Warsaw, 24 - Plock. Lately we have received numerous signals that another group of numbers have appeared which resemble Polish mobile phone numbers - e.g. 703….., which use the same mechanism of cheating subscribers.
The fraudsters direct the calls to the numbers of randomly selected users and expect some of them to call back the displayed number. The unwitting users often call the number back and are charged the costs of an international call by the operators.
It may happen that the calls are intentionally prolonged - e.g. a simulated signal of disconnecting is heard in the handset and if the user does not disconnect the connection on the device (pressing the end key) the call continues and thus the operator keeps charging for the connection. The Office of Electronic Communications cautions and warns!
If you are not expecting an international call and the number displayed on your device is surprisingly long or you do not associate the international area code of the country where the call originated - be careful! Call back with caution!
Pay attention to the number you are calling back. The Office of Electronic Communications calls for caution and before calling or texting back advises to check whether the number is not a foreign number (international calls are more expensive) or whether it does not belong to a number range used to provide premium rate services (e.g. 0708-XXX-XXX). Any questions? Doubts? Call:
UKE Consumer Information Centre
- hotline 801 900 853
(calls charged at the telecommunications operator's rate) or 22 534 91 74
- from Monday to Friday 08:15 - 16:15