International “one ring” phone scam can cost you big bucks

My Broadband's Jan Vermeulen explains what the cell phone scam is all about.

South Africans are receiving missed calls from international numbers ranging from Guinea to Belgium.

Victims of the scam say that after returning the missed calls they found they had been billed exorbitant amounts even if the call duration was brief.

Some have written to John Maytham saying the big service providers like MTN and Vodacom have no interest in stopping the scam as they likely benefit financially from the calls.

But Vermeulen disagrees.

He says the way these type of termination agreements work is that the destination network - the place where the call eventually terminates - charges for example Vodacom or MTN, a fee for terminating that call.

Vodacom and MTN have to pay that fee....a fee determined in a pricing schedule.

Jan Vermeulen, senior journalist at MyBroadband.co.za

So Vodacom is on the hook already for that money, so they have got to charge you for it.

Jan Vermeulen, senior journalist at MyBroadband.co.za

Network operators are willing to say on the record at the moment is that they are doing what they can to stop this from happening, he adds.

MTN, in particular, says they are blocking these numbers as they detect them to prevent people from calling out...Vodacom said as fast as they block them new ones crop up. It's a cat and mouse game....and these bad guys keep finding loopholes in the system.

Jan Vermeulen, senior journalist at MyBroadband.co.za

Should this not be escalated and passed on to a higher national authority to investigate, suggests Vermeulen.

Take a listen:

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