The Wangiri Fraud is not new, but many people have no idea that this is its name. It is actually one of the most common occurring phone frauds. The standard scenario implies a fraudster who gives a missed call to one or multiple users from foreign countries. When the user notices the missed call, they would call the number back, thinking that it was a genuine one, and they missed a conversation with a friend or even a business partner. This is the moment when they get tricked. Most of the cases, the fraudulent numbers are originated from various exotic countries, premium rated numbers that charge the user when they call them back. What the intention of the fraudster is? They want to extract payment out of the user. This fraud does not affect only individuals but also companies because tricksters call various numbers, and an office employee can easily consider that a foreign business collaborator owns the number.
Most of the times the subscriber is not the only one that bears the financial loses; the phone company is also affected. The operator experiences an indirect and a direct loss. Only in 2018, phone companies have lost around $1 billion because of the Wangiri Fraud.
Specialists state that the Wangiri Fraud cannot be fully eliminated, no matter the efforts of the operators and individuals, but phone users can be educated to know how to identify fraud and how to protect themselves from one. Operators can also take measures to lower the extent of the damage this type of fraud determines. The greatest obstacle in stopping this fraud is that it is difficult to identify the details of the fraudster or the country where the call is originated from.
How can phone companies improve their users’ experience and protect their revenue?
Interactive Voice Response (IVR) facility
Telecommunication operators can adopt the IVR facility to reduce the number of Wangiri Fraud cases. When the user calls back a number originated from a high-risk destination the IVR system informs them about the details of the destination and it helps them make an informed decision. When the subscriber receives the voice message, they would be cautious and most of them would choose to end the call before experiencing any financial charges.
International service should no longer be a default service
Nowadays most of the operators offer their subscribers international services as a default option. In order to prevent phone fraud, more and more operators worldwide have decided to protect their subscribers’ interest by adopting this solution. The operators should not activate the international service calling facility without the explicit approval of the consumer on both prepaid and post-paid cards.
Increase subscriber awareness
The best way to prevent fraud cases from happening is to adopt a pro-active approach. If the subscribers are informed of the implications of the fraud, they can protect themselves from it. The subscribers should be informed through messages on the standard scenario of Wangiri Fraud calls and should be advised to perform a reverse phone lookup before calling back. Whenever they are suspicious about a call, they should run a quick search of the number in an online app and they will find out useful details that will help them protect themselves.
If the scammer does not obtain the result they want, they will stop their action. The case is similar to prank calls, only that the extent is more extensive considering the financial implications. If the subscribers learn to recognise a scam for what it is, they can ruin the fraud and stop it. If the fraudster puts the efforts to bother the subscriber with calls, multiple times, they can contact the operator and ask them to stop the calls from that particular country or even from that number. The majority of smartphones have call block functions, therefore it is important for the user to identify the scam because there are numerous solutions on how to stop it.
The introduction of tech solution
Technology can prove very helpful for phone companies when they are trying to hit back the Wangiri Fraud calls. They can develop tech apps that can track phone frauds and protect the subscribers. Some operators have already introduced in their activity swindle ID apps that identify the high-risk calls and automatically alert the subscribers when a scam call is directed to their phone.
In order to detect the Wangiri activity as soon as possible the use of an FMS tool is required. Telecommunication providers can use the FMS tool to monitor the high-risk numbers and to discover the calls made by fraudsters. Machine learning and artificial intelligence are only some of the tech solutions companies can adopt to detect the fraud in early phases.
Some operators have introduced blocking systems that detect the scammers and they block the call before it reaches the subscriber. The subscriber does not even know that they were the target of fraud because the telecommunication network moves the user from the caller’s firing line without the subscriber having to do anything. This does not mean that the subscribers of that particular operator have zero chances to even be bothered by scam calls, they have lower chances than the rest of the people.
Routing management of carrier
When a fraudster makes scam calls to numerous subscribers, the phone company can observe an increased traffic on the carrier who routes the calls. If they will monitor this activity then they will have no issues in observing a repetitive trend on the same carrier that facilitates the calls. In these situations, the operator can collaborate with the carrier to take precautions and to stop the fraud. Alternatively, they can choose to route the traffic through another carrier. If they will choose the second solution, they will break the chain between the carrier and the scammer.
Operators recommend their users to always contact customer support when they receive calls from a number they cannot recognise. They will check the number for the subscriber and will offer them information on the nature of the caller.