If you have ever received a missed call with an unknown prefix and wanted to call back to see who it was, be careful, because it could be the ““missed call” or ‘wangiri’ (call-hang-up) scam, a scam that law enforcement authorities have been warning about for years. The call comes from foreign countries such as Albania or Ivory Coast, which They charge a special rate.
On social networks, both the Civil Guard and the National Police have warned of numerous cases of phishing (techniques used by cybercriminals to deceive and obtain personal and banking data) or smishing (Fake SMS that contains a link that impersonates a website). But cybercriminals also take advantage of phone calls to obtain money.
The system is simple: a missed call reaches a mobile terminal and the user does not pick up the phone. The usual thing would be to call back. But be careful, because depending on the prefix this may have a special rate of which the scammer takes a part. The Civil Guard and the National Police have warned that You have to be careful with the prefixes +355, +225, +233, and +234 or they could charge us extra money to return the call.
You might be interested in: The fake military scam: this is the scam that ended the lives of 3 brothers in Morata de Tajuña and that steals thousands of euros from the victims
To carry out this scam attempt, cybercriminals make a missed call with a foreign prefix to another mobile terminal located in Spain. Police authorities have warned of four prefixes registered in this scam and of which we must remain on alert: +355 (Albania), +225 (Ivory Coast), +233 (Ghana) and +234 (Nigeria).
In this way, the user finds the missed call from an unknown phone number coming from one of these prefixes. To ensure that it is a missed call, cybercriminals call and after two or three rings, they hang up, so that there is no time to pick it up. It is in case of calling back that this scam starts up. The Civil Guard warns that “a special rate will be charged, of which the scammer takes a part.”
These numbers correspond to telephones that, being outside the country, have an extra rate. The trick is that cybercriminals receive a percentage of the fee they charge the victim and they can even receive extra money in case the victim stays on the phone for a little while longer.
This cyber scam has been circulating for years and the authorities echo it from time to time. In 2016, the Civil Guard already warned of this in a message they shared on Twitter (now called
Also in 2019, the Telematic Crimes Group of the Civil Guard shared on Facebook that ‘wangiri’ (call-hang-up) is a “technique by which we receive a missed call from an additional rate number with the intention that we return the call. call”. If you have fallen for this scam, the Civil Guard recommends always report. On the other hand, the National Police always recommends that should not return a call If you don’t know who he is.
The vice president of FACUA-Consumers in action, Miguel Ángel Serrano, recommends that to avoid falling into this scam you search “on Google for exactly the same number received to identify the possible identity.” On the other hand, the Organization of Consumers and Users (OCU) warns that you should always be wary of “calls from hidden or unknown numbers.” If they have them, they explain that the call should not be returned.