Residents who have received random calls from unknown numbers in Tonga and Fiji are asked not to answer or call back, as they could be part of a scam.
Guam – Over the weekend, a number of Guam residents received calls from unknown numbers in places like Fiji and Tonga. The Office of the Attorney General released a statement saying that calls from Fiji (679-773-5407) and from Tonga (676-848-9003) are from scammers attempting to hack personal information. They usually call cell phones or use free calling apps, like Viber.
The release further states that the true intent of the scam is unclear, but most reports allege that the scammers solicit sweepstakes, sex services, or claim to work for the Internal Revenue Service — anything that would trick someone into giving personal information, bank accounts, or credit card numbers.
Earlier today, GTA Teleguam sent out a release about these on-going scams that may have started in the region a couple of months ago. “There are some credit card scams that are happening, not only on Guam, but throughout the region. There was one that happened in New Zealand in April. We realize that there were customers that were getting incoming calls from international areas, more specifically in Tonga. We want our customers to be very vigilant when it comes to receiving phone calls because these scammers may be asking for credit card information, bank information, personal information. When they receive these types of calls, it may be a scam,” Marketing and Communications Specialist Michele Catahay Perez explained. She says the company is doing what they can to help with the situation. “We’re trying our best to avoid these outbound calls. So, if you receive this phone call and people are trying to call Tonga, we actually blocked that number. But there are different ways scammers can come up with to get your information.”
There are a couple of ways this scheme works: the scammers either try to make you stay on the line as long as possible, or they make your phone ring short enough that you see a missed call and try to get you to call it back, which will rack up long distance phone charges.
The Attorney General’s Office is advising residents to continue to ignore these phone calls or block them. And unless you’re expecting an overseas call, don’t call the number back. It is also advisable to update your smartphone’s operating software. You can report this kind of activity to the Consumer Protection Division at 475-3324 extensions 3250, 3210, 3255, and 5020.
You can view the full release from the Attorney General’s Office by clicking on the attachment below.