Press Release | 15 Aug 2018

Vodafone tackles international ‘missed call’ fraud

Vodafone tackles international ‘missed call’ fraud

Vodafone UK is now protecting its customers from international ‘Wangiri’ scam calls by blocking them even before they reach users, reducing the stress and financial impact of this widespread fraudulent activity.

Photo of a Vodafone employee working to prevent international Wangiri scam calls

Customers protected from ‘Wangiri’ fraudulent calls

Vodafone UK is now protecting its customers from international ‘Wangiri’ scam calls by blocking them even before they reach users, reducing the stress and financial impact of this widespread fraudulent activity.

The Wangiri scam is a worldwide problem, plaguing phone users and the telecommunications industry at large. It involves fraudsters ringing a large range of numbers and then hanging up, usually after a single ring. They generate these missed calls in a bid to get victims on the receiving end to call back their expensive international number. They then profit from these calls.

Vodafone already blocks customers from unwittingly calling back Wangiri numbers where possible and reimburses any victim who has incurred a charge. We have now deployed new technology to prevent all identified Wangiri numbers from reaching our customers in the first place.

Vodafone UK Chief Executive Nick Jeffery said: “The message we’re sending to criminal gangs behind the Wangiri scam is don’t call our customers. We are determined to do what we can to stamp out fraudulent practices, whether it is false PPI calls or bogus accident claim calls coming from the UK or international phone rackets. We will also continue to share our intelligence with other mobile companies so we can act as one.”

Vodafone became the first mobile company automatically to block bulk nuisance, scam and fraudulent calls generated by UK-based diallers in 2016.  Today, we prevent up to two million of these automated calls from reaching our customers a day and have blocked more than 500 million calls in total.

As with domestic nuisance calls, customers do not need to do anything and chances are they will not be aware a Wangiri scam call has been blocked. We are doing our utmost to prevent these calls reaching our customers. However, if customers do receive any unwanted calls, they should report them to us by simply texting CALL to 7726 free of charge from their Vodafone phone. We’ll reply by text to ask you for the phone number you’re receiving the nuisance calls from.

In addition to blocking fraudulent calls, Vodafone UK runs a nuisance call bureau to work with customers to prevent threatening calls. The company is also a member of the Internet Watch Foundation, which closes down illegal web sites, and was the first telecommunications company to receive the Telephone Preference Service assured accreditation from the Direct Marketing Association for adhering to telemarketing best practice.



About Vodafone UK

Vodafone UK connects people, businesses and devices to help our customers benefit from digital innovation. Our services span mobile, fixed line connections, home and office broadband and the Internet of Things (IoT).

Having made the UK’s first mobile phone call and sent the first text message, Vodafone has a history as a tech pioneer. In 2018 we made the UK’s first live holographic call using 5G, and were first to start carrying live 5G traffic from a site in Salford, Greater Manchester. We now have 5G in more places than anyone else, with multiple locations now live across the UK and the rest of Europe.

Today we serve more than 18 million mobile and fixed line customers in the UK, with 4G network coverage at 99%.  Our customers voted us the UK’s Best Mobile Network at the 2018 Trusted Reviews Awards – for the second year in a row. To help deliver Gigabit UK, our full-fibre broadband roll-out programme now covers 15 UK towns and cities through partnerships with CityFibre and Openreach.

Connectivity is at the heart of what we do as it gives us a huge opportunity for good. We are using our network, products, talents and technology to help society prosper and respond to significant social and environmental issues.  Our free Digital Parenting magazine is helping families and schools across the UK to navigate the online world safely. Meanwhile, the Vodafone Foundation’s work with researchers at Imperial College is developing personalised cancer treatment using the processing power of smartphones.

We are part of Vodafone Group, one of the world’s largest technology communications companies, with mobile operations in 26 countries, partnerships with mobile networks in 55 more, and fixed broadband operations in 19 markets.  As of 30 September 2019, Vodafone Group had approximately 625 million mobile customers, 27 million fixed broadband customers, and 22 million TV customers – including all of the customers in Vodafone’s joint ventures and associates.

For more information about Vodafone UK, please visit:


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