Kenyans have been warned by local service providers to be careful when returning international calls as mobile phone scammers invade the local market.
A number of Kenyans have complained of receiving brief or missed calls from international numbers numbers with frequent prefixes being +41 (Switzerland), +963 (Syria), +252 (Somalia), and +37 (Latvia).
The scheme is designed to lure phone users into returning the “urgent” international calls, upon which they are unknowingly redirected to premium numbers that drain their credit.
The scammers make money by stretching the for phone call for as long as they can.
The scam, which is called “Wangiri” has been a problem mainly in the US and UK it’s the first time Kenyans are experiencing it.
While many in the diaspora use the internet to reach their loved ones back home, some Kenyans have fallen victims thinking it might be their family member or friend who is abroad.
Safaricom urged users to avoid returning the missed calls and submit the numbers to 333, a short code which the telecommunication giant has set a side for customers to report fraud.
Telkom Kenya also said it had received a number of complaints about the international calls.
“We have advised our customers to ignore these calls and to avoid returning any missed calls from unknown international numbers,” said Telkom Kenya.
@SafaricomLtd @Safaricom_Care what’s up with this many calls from outside the country? Got a missed call from Syria, Andorra, Azerbaijan and Qatar. And why are you silent on this? Are we even safe? cc
— Public health expert (@Wamaeg) January 5, 2018
the calls as scammers will re-direct your calls to premium numbers that will cost you in airtime.^CA
— Safaricom Limited (@SafaricomLtd) January 4, 2018