The Wangiri Scam
It seemed odd to me that a type of telephone scam that's been around for a while and raises it's head during the holidays would be called "Wangiri" but it makes sense.
Yes, Wangiri. The word is actually Japanese and means "One and cut" and references a telephone ring.
This type of telephone scam is where cybercriminals try and trick you into calling a number that's associated with premium rates from $10 to $100 for each call. So how does it work?
Cybercriminals will call your number and let it ring once. You hear the ring but since it only rings once, it appears that you missed a call. If you call it back, thinking it might be important like a customer, potential customer, or some emergency, your call is re-routed to a premium rate number with your consent. Sometimes you'll hear a recording, or sometimes someone will appear to answer. That's really all it takes, that you CALLED the number. In about a month when you get your cell or telephone bill, the expensive call shows up.
So what can you do?
If you have a missed call from an unknown number, DON'T CALL BACK. If it was important or a customer, an authentic caller would leave you a message (unless they're pretending to be from the Social Security Administration or the IRS or the Marshal Service and tell you you have a warrant)(check out our YouTube video on beating phone scammers).
If you continue to get such calls, you can block the number on your phone or call your service provider.
Whatever you do, don't call back! If you fall victim to this type of a cyber scam, contact your local law enforcement or file a complaint with FTC or the FBI.