Police are urging the public not to answer missed calls to their mobiles made from unknown overseas numbers.
Since Wednesday noon, some 350,000 such calls were placed to Cyprus Telecommunications Authority (Cyta) mobile subscribers, with the organisation busy blocking several foreign numbers.
The calls are made late at night – starting from around midnight up to 3 am – and the callers hang up as soon as the person on the other end answers.
If a person gets a missed call and calls back, they will be charged an international rate. Victims usually hear a pre-recorded message lasting a few seconds.
“It’s been the most massive scam call cluster to date,” said Cyta spokesman Lefteris Christou.
He explained that the scammers, such as call-handling companies, make their money from the termination rates.
Under their contracts with local telecom companies in a given country, these outfits are paid a certain amount each month depending on the number of calls received – and thus terminated.
So far the suspect numbers identified and blocked feature the codes +213 (Algeria), +242 (Congo), +372(Estonia), +387(Bosnia-Herzegovina), +674 (Nauru), +960 (Maldives), and +881(Globalstar (Mobile Satellite Service).
However both Cyta and authorities are advising the public to be alert, as the scammers keep calling from new numbers.
Affected subscribers can report incidents to the police cybercrime unit at 22607250 or 22808200, the Citizen Helpline at 1460, or contact their telecom provider.
Cyta subscribers may call 132, toll-free.