Canadian Wireless Users Keep Getting Calls from Somalia in Latest Scam [u]


Some wireless users in Canada, in particular those on Telus, Koodo and Freedom Mobile, keep getting spammed with calls from Somalia to their wireless numbers.

According to iPhone in Canada reader Lee based in Calgary, Alberta, he’s received over 10 calls in a day from a number located in Somalia and its 252 area country code. Check out the screenshot shared of his Recents call list below:

Leepalisoc 2018 Mar 16

He’s not alone in receiving them, as numerous family and friends have also received this spam calls, which come at all hours of the day.

Other Calgarians have voiced their similar experiences on Reddit about getting non-stop calls from Somalia as well, along with those in the /r/Alberta sub-reddit, where one user wrote:

I’ve gotten two calls, one I rejected and one was a missed call. Someone in our town has had 43 missed calls in 4 days. It’s nuts. And everyone says the same thing – Telus can’t help. They’re telling people to change their phone numbers, which obviously won’t help.

What’s the point of all these missed calls? When you call them back, you end up being connected to an answering machine, which plays hold music in an attempt to keep you on hold for as long as possible, which racks up long distance rates.

Swedish police warned its citizens of this phone scam last year as reported by The Local. Earlier this year, Global News reported on the same phone call scam affecting Canadians on Rogers. Users were told to not answer any calls.

The scam itself plays on people only having one phone line and their curiosity of receiving missed calls and possibly some sort of important event from someone in Somalia. This is like the “Nigerian Prince” email scam but version 2.0 in the form of a phone call.

What can you do to stop these calls? You can try blocking numbers, so they can’t call you back. Just go to the Phone app on your iPhone, tap the Recents tab, and tap the “i” icon next to the missed call. From here, tap ‘Block this Caller’ and you won’t hear from them again. The problem is, it appears tonnes of Somalian numbers are being used, so blocking them doesn’t appear to have much effect.

We’ve reached out to carriers for comment on this and will update this article accordingly. In the meantime, if you’re getting missed calls from Somalia, don’t call back. If someone has something important to tell you, they’ll leave a voicemail or find another way to get a hold of you.

Have you been getting missed calls from Somalia?


  • Joe

    In the past couple of weeks, I’ve received 1 missed call from Somalia, 1 from Morocco, and 2 from Senegal. I’m in BC and I’m on the Fido network.

  • Pokieo

    I received my first one today. Yeesh. I’m a Rogers customer, so of course they won’t do anything.

  • Olley

    the furthest way I’ve ever gotten is from Indonesia lol

  • Riddlemethis

    We keep on getting fake calls claiming to be CRA and that we must have our lawyer call them back.

  • cayaguy

    People are dumb to be calling an international number back where they have no relatives are friends. Just stupid (face palm)

  • Lee Palisoc

    These numbers are the one calling us, not us calling them. It’s called Wangiri.

    Blocking it will never help as it keeps generating new numbers.

  • Kris

    Yes, I have received a few calls on both my numbers, one with Telus and other with Freedom. I keep blocking them but they keep calling with different numbers

  • Aleks Oniszczak

    Don’t forget there are two scammers involved – the caller and the wireless carriers that refuses to block them.

  • sukisszoze

    Yup, get them on Rogers and the CRA ones too…

  • Alexis T

    haha what a fun statement, but why stop there, Aleks? Keep going. How about the banks who are out to scam you. Or the insurance companies. Or the utility providers. Or the subscription based app makers. Or, heck, even the government. All are out to scam you Aleks for that wad of cash and wealth you possess!

    Maybe, you ought to move to, oh I don’t know – Somalia? At least then you have 1 less scammer to worry about, amirite?

  • Tim

    I was getting calls from Ghana, not sure when they switched to Somalia.

  • Tim

    right? I’ve probably got about 30 warrants out for my arrest according the scammers.

  • Brenda

    This isn’t a big problem for individuals, but could be for businesses with international customers.

    I’ve gotten calls from Ghana, Hong Kong, China and the U.S. I ignore them, as I do for all unknown numbers, and block them. Unless it’s a local call, I generally don’t answer calls from anyone not on my contact list.

    But scammers in North America can sign up for local numbers using services like Textfree. That’s why it’s better not to even answer local calls. If it’s important, they can leave an easier to screen voice message.

  • Aleks Oniszczak

    So you’re saying Rogers, Bell and TELUS care about you? At all? Even a little bit? When you hear “Your call is very important to us”, but you’re kept on hold because they do not employ enough people to field all the complaints, and do care to not train the employees they have to actually help you, but train them to try to sell you something while you’re trying to get the problem they caused sorted out – when you hear that your reaction is to think they are a benefit to society and have your best interests at heart?

    Just look at the facts – Canadians pay more for less wireless service. Rogers, Bell and Telus customers hate their wireless providers. Rogers, Bell and Telus can’t even compete in the international market because they are to used to the huge margins they obtain by scamming Canadians with artificial pricing. They’d be eaten alive out in the real world.

  • ????? ???????

    Just got one…
    I simply ignore any call from any number that I don’t know. If it is of any importance, they’ll leave a voice message…

  • Alexis T

    Facts are that an average Canadian hates everything. An average Canadian feels entitled to everything.

    Facts are that we pay higher rates because Canada, as a landmass, is much, much higher hence needing more infrastructure, more maintenance and higher operating costs.

    Also, not sure what you mean that R,B,T cannot compete in international market? For what? Revenue, or margin, or popularity contest? Again, not sure what eaten alive in real work has anything to do with what a Canadian company is offering within Canada?

  • Aleks Oniszczak

    I think the average Canadian doesn’t complain enough about bad service. Just think of all the times you or a friend had a bad meal at a restaurant and the server asks, “how was everything” and everyone says “fine!”

    The vast majority of Canada is NOT covered by cellphone towers. Check any coverage map yourself. Don’t believe their propaganda.

    “Robelus” can’t compete as in they won’t even try to maximize profit by expanding outside Canada. Because they would fail. They are bloated, inefficient, and offer a bad deal. All they are capable of doing is increasing prices for Canadians.

  • My 1/2 cents

    You’re confusing Canadians who love it when they get something shoved up their arse and Americans.

  • My 1/2 cents

    Canadians rarely complain unless they’ve got a chip on their shoulder or feel they’ve been disseminated against. Otherwise most Canadians just say I’m sorry when someone they’re mistreated.

  • Bill___A

    They need to fix this. The phone system is fundamentally broken. The carriers “claim” that they can only trace numbers. They need to see which carriers are transmitting these scam calls and shut those carriers’ connections down. There needs to be an authentication mechanism. The phone system wasn’t intended for people to ignore calls and have them all go to voicemail, but that’s what it has turned into. Then, there are legitimate companies, who repeatedly phone and don’t leave a voicemail. It is a mess. I have do not disturb mode on my phones at night. And on my Telus phone, it is set to permanently vibrate only.

  • winnertakesteve

    thats the required mentality, yeah. but if this is happening to people upwards of every 10 minutes, it starts to become harassment.

    if your phone is by default constantly ringing with scam calls, you’re likely going to have to turn off as many incoming call notifications (ringer, vibration, etc) as possible to cope, and its going to become increasingly difficult and more effort to actually catch meaningful calls. the cruise/CRA scams even leave voicemails, so that isn’t a particularly effective filter either.

    yes there are always ways to avoid the scam itself, but the entire phone system is just becoming so littered with these issues with apparently no technical way (or motivation from telecoms to find a way) to stop it. 🙁

  • Bill___A

    They need to do better. They need to get past the mentality that they “can’t block” any call. I am never interested in a call from Somalia…nor a whole bunch of other countries actually,

  • Trista Meoww Nicole

    I got 4 calls from Somalia yesterday

  • Noah

    I’ve gotten around 200 calls In the past week from Somalia. This is ridiculous. Can they not block any numbers with the same country code?

  • Adura Kweku

    I hope this comment helps somebody. I was in a similar situation until i had to do some research because i was almost going craxy. Please download an app called CALL CONTROL. This app helps you block a whole country code as blocking each number cant help. If you block a particular number, this guys will call you back in 2 minutes with almost same number series with maybe the last digit changed. Say for example: they called you with a 25233599545, when you block this, in 2 minutes you will get a call from 25233599546. Did you see, the last digit which is a 5 will be changed to a 6 and so it continues until you run nuts and they call up to 20 times in a day. One rule is this: never answer or call back, if you do, you have confirmed to them that this is a working number then the madness begins. Download the app and you can block all calls from the whole country by blocking the area code 252 or whatever country you get the calls from by clicking on the advanced option then wildcard.. When they see you have blocked the whole area code, they start calling from another, maybe a 367 or 242 area code, it is just craxy. I hope this helps, you can copy this to any other forum you come across this discussion to help as much people as possible.