Everything You Need to Know About Missed Call Scams

Vikki BournerWritten by Vikki Bourner, on 25 Jun, 2024

Missed call scams are becoming increasingly prevalent, targeting those who feel uneasy about answering calls from unknown numbers. It’s important to understand what to look out for and the potential consequences of trying to call back a number set up to scam. At Phonely, we’re on hand to inform you about these dangers and offer advice on how to keep yourself safe.

What are missed call scams?

Missed call scams occur when scammers leave a missed call on your phone from a number you don’t recognise. The aim is to trick you into calling back the number, which often leads to high charges. These calls usually come from premium-rate numbers, and the longer you stay on the call, the more money the scammer takes from you.

What are missed call scams?

Signs of a missed call scam

Whether you use a mobile device, a home VoIP phone or are still using your trusty copper-wire-based landline, there are a few things you can look out for before you call any number back.

International area codes:

If you receive missed calls from unknown international numbers, for example, +267, +224, or +592  it’s most likely a scam.

Unknown area codes:

If you notice a missed call from a number with an unfamiliar area code always be cautious. Scammers often use the codes 070 or 076 (which look like mobile numbers) or non-geographic numbers such as 084, 087, 090, 091 or 118 to lure you into calling them back.

Quick calls:

Scammers usually let the phone ring just once or twice, ensuring you see you’ve missed a call but don’t have time to answer.

Implications of returning a scam call

Returning a call to a scam number can have several negative outcomes:

  • High charges: Premium-rate numbers can lead to exorbitant charges on your phone bill to the tune of hundreds of pounds.
  • Personal information risk: Scammers may use these calls to phish for personal information.
  • Continued targeting: Once you call back, scammers may target you more frequently, knowing you are responsive.
Calling back a scam number can cost you dearly.

Tips to stay safe

If you miss a call, it is your decision whether to call it back or not, and you can take your time. We’ve given you some tips on staying safe from scams below, but most importantly we advise that you trust your gut!

  • 1. Just don’t call back: Avoid returning calls to unknown or suspicious numbers. If it’s important, the caller will leave a voicemail or contact you again or through another method.
  • 2. Verify the number: If you’re unsure about a missed call number, use an online search to check its legitimacy.
  • 3. Enable call blocking: Use services like Phonely’s CallGuard to automatically block scam numbers and protect your digital phone line.

How Phonely’s CallGuard protects you

Phonely offers advanced technology to help you regain your confidence with CallGuard. In many cases, it will prevent you from receiving missed calls from unknown or scam numbers. Here’s how it works:

  • Automatic call blocking: CallGuard has a global database of known & suspected scam numbers. These numbers are automatically blocked from calling your phone, so won’t be able to miss-call you.
  • Anti-fraud intro: Before your call is connected, callers will hear a message informing them you are protected & calls are recorded & monitored.
  • Call recording: All your calls are recorded, so if you’ve been scammed you have proof for a prosecution.

Also, have peace of mind that should a call be important and you happen to miss it, the caller can leave a message on your free voicemail facility.

Protect yourself from missed call scams with CallGuard


Missed call scams are a serious concern, especially for those who are not confident about answering unknown numbers. By understanding the signs and implications of these scams, you can protect yourself. Phonely’s CallGuard is designed to provide you with peace of mind, ensuring that scammers are blocked at every turn. Stay safe, stay informed, and let Phonely help you maintain a secure communication line.

To keep up to date with the latest scams join our Facebook community page. It’s where members share stories and tips about being safe and offer support to those who need it. 

Should you wish to chat with our friendly customer service team about any of our services then you can call the telephone number 0800 112 5000. Or email hello@phonely.co.uk

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