TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: '80' Country Code

Re: '80' Country Code

Mark Crispin (MRC@CAC.Washington.EDU)
Tue, 21 Jun 2005 13:44:11 -0700

For what it's worth, I've received international calls in which the
*last* two digits were truncated in caller ID.

For example, my Japanese cell phone (dual W-CDMA/GSM, roaming on US
GSM networks) has received a few calls where the caller ID was
0118190402016. Breaking that down, we get 011-81-90-4020-16xx. 011
is the North American IDD prefix, 81 is Japan, 90 is mobile, and
402x-xxxx means that it's assigned to NTT DoCoMo.

That number does not belong to any of my friends in Japan who would
have my Japanese mobile number; plus they'd all know to send me email
rather than trying to call since I'm currently in the USA. No message
has been left on my voicemail, and its greeting is bilingual
Japanese/English, so I don't think that it's a wrong number.

So, it's most likely a "wangiri".

"Wangiri" is a common form of spamming mobile phones used in Japan.
The word is a contraction meaning "one ring, hang up"; the spammer
calls your phone, lets it ring once, then hangs up. The idea is to
leave the spammer's phone number in your call history to trick you
into calling back.

Japan is a country in which the caller pays both to call a mobile
phone and to place a call from a mobile phone. Thus, if you are
foolish enough to call a wangiri back, you pay not only your mobile
phone charges to make the call, but also the spammer's mobile phone

In sending me a wangiri, the spammer just wasted the resources of NTT
DoCoMo (his mobile company), Vodafone Japan (my mobile phone company),
the international carrier(s) to the US, and T-Mobile in the USA to
deliver a truncated (and hence useless) wangiri to someone who knows
quite well not to call unknown numbers.

Vodafone Japan's instructions quaintly state the following about
wangiri calls: "simply ignore it, never call back, and erase the
record from call history. Answering or returning such calls may lead
to you receiving threats or to become involved in an incident."

I wonder if Europe has similar problems, since they also practice
caller pays.

-- Mark --
Science does not emerge from voting, party politics, or public debate.
Si vis pacem, para bellum.

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