This is the call back scam, which rose to epidemic levels in Ireland a few years ago but is still around now.
The calls, often have international prefixes including +231 (Liberia), +269 (The Comoros Islands), or +43 (Austria) and are intended to trick people into phoning back at premium rates.
The numbers are high cost international numbers and the fraudsters will get paid for each call back. The fraudsters will try to keep you on the line for as long as possible as they get paid by the minute.
The scam is known as a ‘wangiri’ call, (means one ring) because the mobile phone typically rings just once or twice.
The scammers hope that people will automatically call back without looking too closely at the number.
The telecoms watchdog admits there is no easy way to identify such calls but advise not calling back unless you know the number that called you and certainly do not call back if left a blank message.
Some mobile operators do block these scam numbers as they are identified and that stops them from calling their customers and blocks their customers from returning the call.
If you receive such calls, then notify your phone company of the calling numbers.
If you have any experiences with scammers, spammers or time-waster do let me know, by email.