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Recent rise in reports of missed call phone scam known as 'Wangiri'

PUBLISHED: 09:07 09 October 2019 | UPDATED: 09:11 11 October 2019

Customers of all networks are advised to check accounts for recent payments  Picture: GETTY IMAGES/ISTOCKPHOTO

Customers of all networks are advised to check accounts for recent payments Picture: GETTY IMAGES/ISTOCKPHOTO

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Consumer officials are warning people in Suffolk to beware of a phone scam known as ''Wangiri'.

Communications regulator Ofcom revealed a recent rise in reports of the scam, named after the Japanese word meaning 'one ring and drop'.

Scammers call a phone number but immediately hang up, in the hope the recipient will call back.

If the person calls back, they find themselves connected to an expensive number, such as an international number, which will be charged at a premium rate.

The calls mainly originate from small or developing countries.

Recent cases have included calls originating from countries like Botswana, Guinea and Guyana, which have dialling codes beginning with +267, +224, +592 respectively.

A Suffolk Trading Standards spokesman said: "If you miss a call from a number you don't recognise - particularly from overseas - don't return the call.

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"Also, you should block any unfamiliar overseas and premium-rate numbers and share them with your phone company, so they can investigate.

"We understand that O2 and EE customers have been targeted so far, but customers on all networks should check their accounts for recent payments to see if they have been unknowingly charged for calling one of these numbers."

If you think you have fallen victim, contact your provider and Action Fraud, the UK's national fraud reporting centre.

Ofcom also has guides on dealing with nuisance calls and messages, and 'missed call' scams.

Meanwhile, Suffolk Trading Standards revealed that a local couple in Woolpit were charged £500 by a rogue trader to have overhanging trees cut back.

They were advised by a male trader, who knocked on their door, that he had received a complaint from the neighbours, but could assist them by doing the work.

If you suspect someone of being a rogue trader, report them via Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 040506.

Community Action Suffolk has joined forces with Suffolk County Council Trading Standards to combat fraud targeted against charities as part of Charity Fraud Awareness Week from October 21-25 October 2019.

Colleagues across the voluntary sector are invited to a networking session to discuss best practice in fighting fraud. Visit communityactionsuffolk.org.uk for more information.

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