Telephone scams from numbers from Tunisia, Moldova and Kosovo have intensified in recent months: here's how they work and how to defend yourself
Telephone scams from numbers with an international prefix (Tunisian, Moldovan or Kosovar) are back in fashion. We had already talked about it at the end of last year, warning users about the possible scam that hides behind international calls. Following the online reports of users, it seems that scammers are back in action, storming Italian users with calls.
In many cases, these are not real calls, but only a couple of rings, just enough time to attract the attention of the person and hang up before he can answer. In fact, the objective of the ill-intentioned ones is to make to be born curiosity in the user that seeing a number with international prefix wants to call back to discover who is looking for him. And it is right at this moment that the scam is triggered: by calling one of these numbers (usually have as prefix +216; +373; +383), you activate a monthly subscription of 5-6-7 euros charged directly to the current account or SIM credit. This is a well-executed scam that has allowed the perpetrators to earn several tens of thousands of euros in recent months.
Unfortunately, users have some weapons to defend themselves against phone scams that come from international numbers. First of all, if you receive a call from a number with a foreign area code, do not answer it. Here's what they are and how to defend yourself against calls from Tunisia, Kosovo and Moldova.
Numbers with international dialing code, beware of phone scams
In recent weeks, phone scams with calls from Tunisia have been intensifying. Some users on social networks (and also those who write) have reported to have received at least a couple of calls from a number with a Tunisian prefix (+216). In most cases it is two-three rings, just enough time to attract attention to make believe that it is a real call.
The scam is triggered when you try to call back to find out who is hiding behind the number. As soon as the call starts, immediately a paid subscription is activated and 5-6-7 euros are deducted from the remaining credit (varies from person to person). These are the classic subscriptions that promise the user to receive exclusive content every week, but in reality are real scams. In addition to the money stolen with the deception, the user is forced to pay the call, which being international has a very high cost. In addition to the damage suffered, also the mockery of having to pay extra money for an unanswered phone call.
Telephone scams, the numbers that should not be answered
Make a note of these international telephone prefixes: +216 (Tunisia); +373 (Moldova); +383 (Kosovo). If you are receiving calls from a number with this area code, do not answer for any reason - it is a scam. For each call, the crooks change the area code to give the idea that they are dealing with different people, but in reality, the same call centers are hiding behind these calls.
Telephone scams, how to defend yourself
Is it possible to defend yourself against this type of scams? The answer is absolutely yes, the important thing is to know the right tools to use. Before talking about the applications that you can install on your device, we'll give you an advice: if in these days you have received calls from numbers with international prefix and you didn't have time to answer, don't call them back. A scammer might be hiding behind the number.
Now let's talk about the tools available to users. On the Google Play Store and the App Store there are many apps that help you recognize when a call center is hiding behind a phone number. These are free apps, and one of the best is True Caller. Another way to block calls from scammers is to put their number on your smartphone's black list. If you have received 4-5 calls from a number with an international dialing code, put it on the "nuisance" list of your device: the procedure to follow is very simple, both on Android and iOS.
Finally, if due to a distraction you have called the number back and the paid subscription has been activated, you should not despair. Just call the service center of your phone provider and within a few minutes you will get back the illegally stolen money. Also, ask to activate SMS barring, so that you can nip in the bud the activation of any unsolicited subscription.