Govt Seeks International Help to Fight ‘Wangiri’ Scam

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The government is to get help from international law enforcement as it moves to combat a telephone scam affecting local mobile phone customers.

Help is being sought from Interpol, which is the largest international police organization, and Europol which manages serious crimes and terrorism across the European Union.

This was disclosed by Technology Minister, Dr. Andrew Wheatley in an interview with our news centre this morning.

Mobile phone customers have been complaining about receiving suspicious missed calls originating from a plus-4-8 area code.

That’s the area code for Poland, a country in Eastern Europe. The scam is known globally as ‘Wangiri’, which is a Japanese word which means ‘one ring and cut’.

Prepaid customers who return the missed calls are fleeced of their call credit while charges are imposed on post-paid customers.

Technology Minister, Dr. Andrew Wheatley, says Jamaica has sought help from the International Police Organization, INTERPOL and EUROPOL to address the problem.

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Dr. Wheatley is urging mobile phone customers to be vigilant.

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Minister Wheatley says he was also targeted by the fraudsters.

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He’s encouraging customers to have a security pin for their voicemail. He’s also advising them not to disclose any personal information requested by any suspicious caller.

Head of the Counter-Terrorism and Organized Crime Investigation Branch of the JCF, Assistant Commissioner, Clifford Chambers, is encouraging affected customers to make a formal complaint to them.

He says the JCF is trying to determine the magnitude of the problem.

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ACP Chambers says members of the JCF have also been affected by the phone scam.

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