Wangiri Fraud – One Ring Scam | Detailed Description

August 27, 2018 By

What’s Wangiri fraud?

Wangiri (Which means ‘one ring and cut’ in Japan, from where the scam first originated) involves fraudsters dialing from an overseas number then immediately disconnecting the call after one or two rings. The target will often the ring back, typically after observing their phone has multiple missed calls from the same or a similar number. A Wangiri phone fraud structure relies on this solitary ring method for a quick way to make money. A fraudster will set up a computer to dial a huge quantity of phone numbers arbitrarily. Each rings just once, then hangs up. This kind of leaves a number as a missed call on the recipients’ phone. Users often see the overlooked call and believe the best call was sliced off, and/or simply interested as to who called, so they dial the missed number. The amount transforms out to be a premium rate number – anything from advertising to “free prizes” to making sex services.

There is also an SMS variant of Wangiri fraud that has been reported. From this variance, subscribers receive a TXT message like “Please call me back, this is urgent! ” so as to attract them to return a call.

One Ring and Cut (Wangiri) Fraud Scenario

wangiri scam

  1. The Fraudster sets up calls to voice subscribers but hangs up after one ring. This means that the fraudster isn’t charged for making the calls.
  2. Curious subscribers see a missed call on their phones, and return the call, not realizing that the number is actually a high-cost destination.
  3. If subscribers are on a flat rate plan, the service provider will be left paying high termination costs with no corresponding increase in revenue
  4. The Fraudster shares in the revenue from the fraudulent calls.

For more details here is the presentation made by David Morrow, a seasoned Corporate Security/investigation professional.



The owner of the number is paid for each incoming call on the number.

These frauds closely associated with International Revenue Sharing Fraud (IRSF). Open source intelligence indicates that money generated from IRSF was used by terrorist-related activities also.

Carriers: Vodafone, Jio & Airtel have been briefed on the same. Blocking of the series along with precall announcements will be done. Vodafone has published an article on this fraud which can be seen here.

Here is a list of few “One Ring” or “Wangiri” SCAM numbers spreading in National Capital Region (NCR) region:


Let’s talk about Solution

  • If you receive an unexpected missed call from an international number you don’t recognize, ignore it.
  • If you are receiving repeated missed calls, block the number.
  • Consider blocking international calls on mobiles used by children. This prevents a child from accidentally calling an international number by themselves.
  • When dealing with uninvited contacts from people or business – whether it’s over the phone, mail, fax, email, in person or on a social networking site – always consider the possibility that the approach may be a scam.
  • Complaints can be filed with the local police or with TRAI’s complaint redressal portal.
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