February 7, 2018 8:40 pm
Updated: February 8, 2018 4:21 pm

Mysterious missed calls on cellphones part of worldwide scam

WATCH: A telephone scam sweeping Calgary and Alberta has prompted a warning to ignore missed overseas calls. Tony Tighe reports.


The one-ring scam is back and is catching a new wave of unsuspecting cellphone owners.

The calls show up on your phone as a missed call and come from overseas locations like Albania, Macedonia or the Seychelles.

READ MORE: ‘Can you hear me?’: Don’t say ‘Yes’ in new telephone scam

Ebun Adewole got one while she was sleeping at 2 a.m. and thought it was a relative from overseas.

She waited until morning to call back, but when she checked again, didn’t recognize the number.

“Ever since then, I get at least one a day, maybe in the morning and then in the evening,” Adewole said. “I thought maybe my phone number was on a weird website or something or I thought it was a telemarketer.

“It wasn’t until I started looking it up that I thought it might be a scam.”

A telephone scam sweeping Calgary and Alberta has prompted a warning to ignore missed overseas calls.

Global News

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According to the Calgary Better Business Bureau (BBB), it’s called the one-ring scam or the Japanese name “Wangiri” – where it started.

The call disconnects right away and the people behind it are hoping you call back out of curiosity, according to Leah Brownridge with the BBB.

“They may be connected to some kind of toll service. You may hear music playing, you may hear an automated recording of some sort,” she said. “The longer you stay on the line, the chances are your phone bill is going to be racked up with long distance charges.”

Brownridge says past reports have recorded long distance rates anywhere from $20 per minute to hundreds of dollars.

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Global contacted Rogers Communications and they are aware of the fraudulent activity and are monitoring it.

They issued a warning on social media.

READ MORE: CRA income tax phishing scam still going strong, police warn

“If you receive a call from an unknown international number that disconnects immediately it could be part of a worldwide scam … don’t call back.”

It’s not clear if customers have to pay a bill if they call the number back, but Rogers says customers who have any questions about their account are asked to contact RCI.

Adewole has been trying to block the numbers but each one is different.

“Ever since then, I’ve been warning my friends and my family not to answer any calls they don’t know.”

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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