Got questions about Wangiri fraud? We've got info on what it is, what we're doing to keep our customers safe and steps you can take to protect yourself too.

Ever had a call from an international number you didn’t recognise? It could be a ‘Wangiri’ call – a scam that could leave you seriously out of pocket.

Fraud or scams of any kind can be a worry so to help you out, here’s everything you need to know about Wangiri calls.

How does Wangiri fraud work?

‘Wangiri’ is a Japanese word meaning ‘one ring and drop’. And a Wangiri call does just that. Calls usually cut off just as the phone rings, leaving a missed call message from an international or unusual number.

Calling back can be tempting – you want to find out who was calling, right? But if you do, chances are that you’ll be routed to an expensive, premium rate service.

What are Three doing to protect you?

This is a scam that’s targeting customers of mobile operators around the world. At Three, we’ve invested in an intelligence system to proactively monitor for fraudulent numbers and protect customers. And we’re automatically blocking numbers known to be used and saving our customers from fraud.

What can you do to protect yourself?

We’re working hard to stop these types of calls from reaching our customers, but there’s still a chance that a small number of them may get through.

So, if you get an unexpected call from an unknown international or unusual number, here are some simple steps that you can take to protect yourself from Wangiri fraud:

1. Don’t answer any unexpected calls from international or unusual numbers.

2. If you have a missed call from an international or unusual number, don’t be tempted to call them back. 

3. Report any suspicious calls by texting CALL to 7726 (free from your Three mobile). We’ll reply by text asking for the number you’re receiving nuisance calls from and investigate further. 


If you’d like to know more about mobile phone fraud, check out our security page or visit Action Fraud, the UK’s national fraud and cybercrime reporting centre.