MOBILE PHONE USERS in Ireland have been targeted by a scam which tries to encourage users to unwittingly call a premium phone line based in Slovenia.
The scam sees Irish mobile users receiving one-second calls, or missed calls, from a number that could be mistaken for that of an Irish mobile – but is in fact a premium number in Slovenia.
The idea is that the Irish user attempts to return the call to see who may be looking to speak to them – and unwittingly run up high charges by calling the premium line in Slovenia.
Users on Boards.ie and on reporting site WhoCallsMe.com reported the calls coming mostly from the number +38681897022 – which could be mistaken as a call from an Irish mobile with the 086 prefix, which would appear as +35386xxxxxxx – but other numbers with the last two digits varied had also been used.
It has emerged that most of the calls have been targeted at customers on the 087 phone prefix, most commonly associated with Vodafone – though because existing 087 numbers can be transferred to other networks, the issue is not isolated to Vodafone customers.
One user said a Vodafone agent had told them they had received “lots of similar queries” about the scam. Vodafone could not be reached for comment.
A spokesman for ComReg, Ireland’s telecoms regulator, said it had received a number of complaints from the public and it was investigating the matter.
It is unclear how much users may be charged for calling the Slovenian service.
Have you been targeted by the scam? If so, let us know in the comments below.