Warning on mobile phone scam
Have you been receiving mobile phone calls from a number starting with the digits 0088?
People across Leitrim have been reporting receiving calls from international numbers starting with 0088. Do not answer these calls as they are part of a scam.
The caller will allow the phone to ring a few times before hanging up, leading to missed call messages on your mobile.
Do NOT ring the number back. This is all part of the 'Wangiri' scam which originated in Japan but is now being used by con artists worldwide.
So how does it work?
In order for mobile phone networks across different countries to communicate with each other, there is a system set up that processes the connections and also makes sure that any international charges are passed on to the person making the call, from the country the call was made to.
For example, if it costs you €2 to call a mobile in South Africa, this system makes sure the right amount of charges are billed to you for that international connection time.
What's happening with the Wangiri scam is the fraudsters behind the con, compromise that system of international charges.
The fraudsters rely on you calling back the number after you note the missed call. Be warned that if you do, they pocket the cost per minute of that call and the charges are huge.
The best advice is to not answer any call from a number you don't recognise and never answer a number starting with 0088.