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Rahul Thadani

European countries the primary source of premium-rate hoax calls

September 4, 2012
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Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

Last month we posted a blog about the ‘Wangiri’ scam and the fake missed calls that many people received. The scammers made these calls from premium-rate numbers (based overseas) and bombarded people with one-ring missed calls. Some unfortunate victims who called back were charged anything between Rs. 50 to Rs. 200 per minute.

We received a lot of feedback from our readers about this scam. Apparently, many people have been victimized by this fraud and a lot of them shared their experiences with us. These comments and experiences can be found in the Comments section of that post.

Common numbers and countries of origin
In this post we would like to inform readers about the various countries that these fraudulent calls originated from. Since this scam and such calls are still prevalent, we would like to re-emphasize that you must never call such numbers back if you receive a missed call from them.

Prefix of Common Numbers

Country of Origin

(+) 224

New Guinea

(+) 235

Chad

(+) 239

Democratic Republic of Sao Tome and Principe

(+) 243

Democratic Republic of Congo

(+) 252

Somalia

(+) 30

Greece

(+) 31

Netherlands

(+) 33

France

(+) 34

Spain

(+) 37

Germany

(+) 40

Romania

(+) 420

Czech Republic

(+) 421

Slovakia

(+) 44

United Kingdom

(+) 54

Argentina

(+) 90

Turkey

(+) 92

Pakistan

  • A majority of these numbers are from European nations.
  • A few African countries have also been identified. These are the countries that have a 3-digit country code.
  • The most fraudulent calls were received from Pakistan.

How to identify such fake numbers
Our readers should remember that India’s country code is +91. Calls with this prefix are unlikely to be a part of the Wangiri scam but this cannot be ascertained for sure. The scammers usually call an international number so that the calling rates are higher when a victim calls back. You can count the digits of the number to determine the prefix and then check on the web to see what country the call has originated from. If you find the source to be suspicious, do not call back. Report the number to your service provider immediately.

If you possess an Android or BlackBerry smartphone you can use the number blocking feature on Quick Heal Mobile Security. This prevents such calls from reaching your device and also allows you to block spam messages and other threats that emanate from various sources.

Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments.

Rahul Thadani
About Rahul Thadani
Rahul is a web enthusiast and blogger, and has been writing about the computer security industry for the last three years. Following the latest technology trends,...
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37 Comments

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  1. Thanks rahul for detailed country code verification

    Reply
  2. babulal darjiSeptember 4, 2012 at 6:51 PM

    this is right but some peoples are wrong for other countries.

    Reply
  3. rajat sharmaSeptember 4, 2012 at 7:29 PM

    superb site love to read news

    Reply
  4. Ansumay DattaSeptember 4, 2012 at 9:11 PM

    Informative & valuable.

    Reply
  5. Bharat PatelSeptember 4, 2012 at 9:13 PM

    very good service. thanks a lot.

    Reply
  6. Pankaj PandeySeptember 5, 2012 at 4:29 AM

    Yes I too received such calls. But these missed calls were from numbers +2693908047, +2693908048 & +212661010243. I do not know from where these calls were but I never called back because I had no contacts from where these calls emerged. Thanks for the update.

    Reply
  7. good information for net user

    Reply
  8. good information

    Reply
  9. excellent information, can we get something more on this

    Reply
  10. Is the Local service provider who debit such charges involved in the racket??
    How do they debit such exhorbitant amount unless they have an understanding with the Scamsters??

    Reply
    • Hi Mani,
      Local service providers are not in league with this racket. The scammers actually purchase premium-rate numbers from the service providers. So the providers can take better steps to verify such buyers. However, they cannot be pinpointed for this trick.

      Reply
  11. Brijesh PatelSeptember 5, 2012 at 9:46 AM

    Yes, it is true…my wife also…receive this kind of call last month.

    Reply
  12. Thanks Rahul for detailed country code verification…

    Reply
  13. SNEHAL SHETH (mulund).September 5, 2012 at 10:28 AM

    We are exporters and can expect call from any country and any code , in this case what best can we do. Your help will be really appreciated.

    Reply
    • Hi Snehal,
      We understand that your business needs will require you to receive and make calls to such numbers. You just need to be cautious and verify numbers before you call them, whenever possible. Ignore numbers that repeatedly give you one-ring missed calls.
      Thanks.

      Reply
  14. Thank u. this information is useful.

    Reply
  15. Dear Rahul,
    Thanks for all current info. Till now, I didn’t notice eceiving missed
    calls from numbers prefixing these codes but i have been worrying about receiving high mobile bills.
    But, there is one more thing that i need to tell you about. I receive SMS’s about winning 500,000 EURO or Sterling Pounds in lotteries or some such things that I want to block. Can you suggest any remedy?

    Reply
    • Dear Rahul _ Like Amal says in his above post, I too want to apprise you that I also receive frequent SMS on my mobile, regarding winnings of large amounts of money, sometimes in dollars, pounds or euros and that my mobile number got selected in some lucky draw. Prima facie such messages are frauds,so I delete them. Such messages also come to us on our email accounts.
      How do we report such emails to the Crime Branch authorities, who may be capable and equipped to track and deal with the impostors ? Kindly share some email ids.with us for such Crime Branch addresses.
      And Thank You for informing us with such vital info.above,regarding fraudulent missed calls.

      Reply
      • Hi CS Tewari and Amal,
        These kinds of emails and messages are quite common and have been around for a long time. Unfortunately, cyber laws in our country are not well defined and are also very lengthy. The concerned authorities do what they can about such threats but the progress is very slow. Moreover, spam is something that cannot be avoided today. Use features in your phones and email services and programs to block such messages from reaching you.
        Thanks.

        Reply
  16. Thanks Rahul,
    Keep informing good things for awareness in recent scams.

    Reply
  17. Hi Rahul,
    thnx for the information, and thnx to all those people who spread awarenss among us. i recently received one miss call from one of the above mentioned prefix numbers i.e. (0044) but i escape any loss due to my prior awareness thru one blog like this one. hope this information would save many ppl from losing their money to these scams.
    and yes , do not call back to these nos.
    regards

    Reply
  18. There are other nos too, recd with no. starting 570….always gives one ring missed call, never called back.

    Reply
  19. Thanks Rahul for details & 2-3 month pehle mujhe bhi +92 No. se call aaye the kareeb 5-6 baar

    Reply
  20. Thanks for the information

    Reply
  21. indeed very informative. i too have been getting such hoax calls. Once i called back one such numbers when a woman speaking in Hindi replied and asked if i wud like to make friendship with her. i asked her to call me back and disconnected the call. no one called thereafter. i suspect some call center personnel (including Indians) too are part of this scam.

    Reply
  22. sujeet kumarSeptember 5, 2012 at 5:45 PM

    thanks rahul for the information.

    Reply
  23. rajesh sharmaSeptember 5, 2012 at 6:35 PM

    Thanks to aleart me

    Reply
  24. i can’t renwal my security

    Reply
  25. Pravin SatputeSeptember 6, 2012 at 1:43 AM

    i have also receive so many missed call from international number but i m just share with my friend one of my friend is tell me this is a fake call when we trying this no so many balance debit in our mobile.that time i m alert for this fake missed call,

    Reply
  26. Very useful information.

    Reply
  27. Rahul,

    Thanks for information. I would like to know, what is the profit in doing such things. Is there any monetary advantage for it?

    Reply
  28. I got a call from +37270203688. Country is Estonia. I got call at 11.30 pm. I received that call but it suddenly disconnected in 1sec. I didn’t call back and blocked that contact. Is there any chance to misuse my number? Can thay use my number?

    Reply
  29. Sanatan MishraDecember 13, 2015 at 10:35 AM

    i am also got every day night missed call from +23133067021.one time waiting me and i was receved call then one sec after show me end call …

    Reply