Did you get a call from Sierra Leon recently? Maybe six calls in a row in the middle of the night? Multiple reports have come in from people receiving these same exact calls at the same time, and this scam is a devious one.
This scam is known as the Wangari scam or the one-call scam. The call is placed by an auto-dialer, but it only rings one time because they want you to call them back. If you call back, you will be subject to significant international charges along with charges per minute you’re on the phone. Unfortunately, victims don’t know this has happened until they see the phone bill.
If you received this call or know someone who did, do not call back. If you did call back, make sure to contact your carrier. If you never make international calls, they might be able to block outbound international calls for you to keep you from accidentally making these calls. Rule of thumb: if they don’t leave a voicemail, it’s probably safest not to call back. Also, if the number looks like it’s from overseas, definitely do not call back.
Don’t forget to file a complaint with the FCC, so they know it’s happening. You can also see if your carrier provides scam protection for you. T-Mobile and Metro customers automatically have Scam Likely and Nuisance Likely tags on incoming scam calls. They also offer a free Scam Block service to block all of these calls automatically. You just have to dial #662# to enable it.
Want us to provide killer scam protection from calls like these to your mobile carrier? Check our list of Scam Fighting superheroes here and tell us who else we should offer coverage to.