The scam likely relies on people returning missed calls from foreign numbers.
A previous version of this story referred to Fayyad Atwi as Sayad Adoui. The Daily Star regrets this error.
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Lebanese mobile phone users received in the past few days a multitude of calls from numbers bearing Russia's country code (0079), prompting a barrage of social media posts calling out the scam. The "one ring" telephone scam – also known as a "wangiri" (literally "one [ring] and cut") in Japan – first appeared in 2000, and involves trying to dupe phone customers into calling a foreign phone number in order to steal phone credit.The Directorate General of the Internal Security Forces issued an alert Thursday, warning Lebanese phone users against calls from suspicious numbers.The statement noted that the "potential harm" lies in calling back the international number, without further specifying whether this could result in the virus penetrating a user's phone.However, Director General of Investment and Maintenance at the Telecommunications Ministry Bassel al-Ayoubi issued a statement Thursday evening, also warning phone users not to reply to mysterious international calls.
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