As if we’d thought scammers had duped enough victims in the U.S., unfortunately they haven’t had enough as they’ve made their way to Germany with the One-Ring Phone Scam.
Originating from the West African Atlantic Coast, specifically Guinea (+224), Burundi (+257), Morocco (+212) or Tunisia (+216), scammers are calling German mobile phones and spoofing numbers as local calls. Seconds before a victim can pick up the call, the culprit will hang up. In some instances they will leave a message urging the victim to call a number to either receive a so-called raffle prize, or find out about a sick relative. The scammers hope that they’ve enticed the victim enough that they will call back the number.
If a victim calls back, they will be connected to an international hotline that charges a fee for connecting, along with charging significantly high per-minute fees. It’s already too late before the victim even realizes they’ve been scammed, as they won’t realize they’ve been tricked until they see the premium services on their monthly phone bill.
More than 30,000 people have filed complaints with the Federal Network Agency in the past month. They are now asking consumers to report suspicious numbers as soon as possible. They hope that as they receive online complaints, they will be able to slowly narrow down the culprits and have the opportunity to grant the German network providers bill and collections bans.