Vodafone announces it is blocking ‘Wangiri’ scam calls

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Vodafone UK Fraud Manager Katharine Daubney protects customers from international ‘Wangiri’ scam calls at the company’s network operations centre.


Vodafone UK is now protecting its customers from international ‘Wangiri’ scam calls by blocking the calls before they reach users.

The Wangiri scam is a worldwide problem, plaguing phone users and the telecommunications industry at large. It involves fraudsters ringing a large range of numbers and then hanging up, usually after a single ring. 

They generate these missed calls in a bid to get victims on the receiving end to call back their expensive international number which they then profit from. 

Vodafone already blocks customers from unwittingly calling back Wangiri numbers where possible and reimburses any victim who has incurred a charge. But it has now deployed new technology to prevent all identified Wangiri numbers from reaching its customers in the first place.

Says Vodafone UK Chief Executive Nick Jeffery:

“The message we’re sending to criminal gangs behind the Wangiri scam is don’t call our customers. We are determined to do what we can to stamp out fraudulent practices, whether it is false PPI calls or bogus accident claim calls coming from the UK or international phone rackets. We will also continue to share our intelligence with other mobile companies so we can act as one.”

Vodafone claims it was the first mobile company automatically to block bulk nuisance, scam and fraudulent calls generated by UK-based diallers in 2016.  Today, it prevents up to two million of these automated calls from reaching customers a day and has blocked more than 500 million calls in total.

As with domestic nuisance calls, customers do not need to do anything and chances are they will not be aware a Wangiri scam call has been blocked. However, if customers do receive any unwanted calls they should report them by texting CALL to 7726 free of charge from their Vodafone phone. 

Chris Price