Return calls may be diverted to premium numbers locally or abroad
GEORGE TOWN: If you receive a suspicious phone number beginning with ‘+447’, it’s wise to just ignore it.
Hundreds of people have recently been getting missed calls from a free phone forwarding service purportedly from the United Kingdom.
Those who returned missed calls from these 447 numbers may unknowingly have their calls diverted to premium phone numbers in Nigeria, Malaysia, India or Pakistan, which come with hefty charges.
This forwarding service is provided through a website, www.freeuknumber4u.com.
The Star ran a check on the origin of these numbers after many people started announcing in phone chat groups about getting missed calls — sometimes just one ring — from them in the last few days.
The message read ‘Be aware of these numbers, +447417942301 and +447417942302. Don’t answer. It will cost you RM6 per answer.’
A section in the website of this provider invites prospects to “have a look at the free international minutes section within the control panel where more information is available.”
However, only those who signed up for the service have access to this control panel. The site declares that 500,000 people are using the service.
An address in England is given on the website. A 3D logo of the words ‘atlantic networks’ is displayed but no other mention of this is made as a company name.
A businessman who wished to be known only as Marc said he received a missed call from a 447 number at nearly midnight on Wednesday and again the following morning.
“I neither answered, nor returned the calls. I know such things are usually scams and genuine overseas callers will surely send me a text message if I don’t call back,” he said.
Marc also said this month alone he received calls purportedly from banks that want him to confirm credit card transactions.
“I got a call from a computer system declaring it was from a bank’s credit card service asking me to punch in numbers. I hung up right away.
“On Wednesday, I got another call from a man who said he was from another credit card company and I needed to confirm a transaction.
“When I refused, he threatened that he would have to report it and my credit rating would be affected. I didn’t bother and hung up,” Marc said.
In 2015, Bukit Aman issued a public warning on foreign missed call traps that will exact high call charges from victims.
Source: The Star Online