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.

Have you ever had missed calls from an international number that you didn’t recognise and been tempted to give them a call back? It’s likely that this is an example of a ‘Wangiri’ call – a scam that could leave you seriously out of pocket.

We’ve been hearing from customers who have questions about this kind of fraud so, we’ve put together some info on what Wangiri fraud actually is, what we’re doing to protect customers and also some steps that you can take to keep safe too.

How does Wangiri fraud work?

‘Wangiri’ is a Japanese word meaning ‘one ring and drop’. And a Wangiri call does just that. You receive a call that cuts off just as the phone rings, leaving a ‘missed call’ message and an international or unusual number on your display.

It can be tempting to call the number to see who it was but if you do, chances are you’ll be routed to a premium rate service that’ll automatically charge you a large sum of money.

What are Three doing to protect you?

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

What can you do to protect yourself?

Although we’re doing everything we can to prevent these types of calls reaching our customers, there’s still a chance that a small number of calls 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.