The +25 number is particularly insidious, because at a quick glance it looks like a mobile number.
**** EDIT** – one reader has warned of a local 09 number that does the same thing – watch put for any numbers being 095 .. one call cost $5.60 for 5 seconds *****
The calls only last a second or so, then ring off. Sometimes, if you’re driving, sleeping or your phone is on silent, all you’ll get is a missed call notification.
The normal response is to call back – which is what they want.
The call goes through to a high priced premium call number and the bill starts racking up immediately – often cost more than a dollar every second or so. Even a short ring might cost you a sizeable chunk of cash.
They come through both on mobile and through third party apps like Viber.
The best advice to avoid getting hit – don’t call back.
If you do get stung, report it immediately to your Telco provider.
Radio NZ recently reported:
The latest wave of an international phone scam is affecting New Zealanders and mobile companies are warning people not to call back.
The scam appears as a missed international phone call and charges the user hefty international fees if they return it.
2degrees spokesman Paul Brislen said the scam is unsophisticated but is affecting mobile phone users from multiple international networks.
The scam is computer generated and almost impossible to stop as the calling number changes every time, he said.
“You start off with 001001 and that doesn’t ring so you go through to 001002 and that one rings, great we’ve got a live number, then they try 001003 and they just make their way up the number range until they hit out numbers.
“So I presume they’ve reached the +64 bracket, which is New Zealand, and they’re trying all the numbers they can find”, he said.
Eventually the scammers will move on to target other international numbers, he said.
Customers who have returned unknown international phone calls should check their phone bills and contact their network if they’ve been affected, he said.
Spark said its customers have also been targeted while a Vodafone user told RNZ of getting repeated missed calls from a Canadian number for months.
The full story can be seen here