GARDAÍ in Mayo have issued a warning over a new phone scam, dubbed Wangiri, which has come to light.
Members of the public have been advised not to answer calls beginning with the prefix +88 or 0088.
"The situation is that '+88' or '0088' is a mobile satellite phone (globalstar) prefix and if you answer the number back, you will be charged a lot of money," the spokesperson added.
It is understood the scam is rampant throughout the country.
The caller will allow the phone to ring a few times before hanging up, leading to missed call messages on your mobile.
This is all part of the 'Wangiri' scam which originated in Japan but is now being used by con artists worldwide.
In order for mobile phone networks across different countries to communicate with each other, there is a system set up that processes the connections and also makes sure that any international charges are passed on to the person making the call, from the country the call was made to.
For example, if it costs you €2 to call a mobile in South Africa, this system makes sure the right amount of charges are billed to you for that international connection time.
What's happening with the Wangiri scam is the fraudsters behind the con, compromise that system of international charges.
The fraudsters rely on you calling back the number after you note the missed call. Be warned that if you do, they pocket the cost per minute of that call and the charges are huge.
The best advice is to not answer any call from a number you don't recognise and never answer a number starting with 0088.