MTN, Vodacom and CellC – Wangari Fraud

MTN has advised it users not to return calls to unknown numbers.

It appears Vodacom is also affected by the Wangiri Fraud Scam

An so is CellC. CellC have gone further than the other two operators, and released a entire statement regarding the Wangiri Fraud:




An international number is ANY number that does not start with +27(South African Prefix). Twitter User Tumelo Radebe was kind enough to post a screen-shot of what one of these fraudulent message’s look like:



Sadly, it appears that Wangiri Fraud is not something new. The WikiPedia entry defines it as follows:

Wangiri (literally, “One (ring) and cut”) is a phone fraud that originated in Japan. The scam involves a computer dialing a large number of mobile phone numbers at random. The numbers appear as missed calls on the recipients’ phones. Believing a legitimate call was cut off, or simply curious, users are enticed to call back. The numbers are either premium rate, or contain advertising messages.

The Intelligence Bureau of South Africa initially warned South Africans about this type of fraud as early as February 2015.  Further more, they elaborate that the Wangiri Fraud extends to whatsap calls as-well which is even more horrifying:

As it is said in South Africa, “Prevention is better than cure”. To avoid this scam DO NOT RETURN A CALL TO ANYONE YOU DO NOT KNOW.

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