Area code 0030 – Fraudulent calls – Where does the number come from?

Area code 0030. The phone rings and an unknown number appears on the screen with the area code 0030. You can quickly find out on Google: this is the country code for Greece.

It also quickly becomes clear that if you have no friends or relatives in Greece, for example in Athens, Thessaloniki or Patras, or if there is no other good reason to call, the caller from Greece will benefit from the call you know nothing about.

Many feel cheated, and rightly so. Because almost everyone has received unwanted ping calls or even unwanted calls with foreign area code. Calls with the area code 0030 are more frequent than those with a different country code. What are the usual tricks and motives behind calls from Greece?

Ping calls to the area code 0030 – the area code for Greece

The cell phone is constantly ringing and a number with the area code for Greece is displayed. Scammers call at any time of the day as computers ask for recipients’ phone numbers. They test who can call and when. Behind that are large call centers abroad, which dial random numbers from address dealers every minute.

If you are constantly called on international numbers, but never reach the phone in time – and if you do, just listen to the silence at the other end – you are dealing with so-called ping calls. Those affected should never respond by picking up the phone and should never respond to missed calls by calling them again. They definitely shouldn’t be on the phone for long after being called back, as there are often endless ads on the bar. Because many area codes from Greece hide cost traps: if you call the foreign number back with the foreign area code, high fees will be incurred. This does not change if calling area codes, that is, special provisioning area codes, are requested before the country code.

Please keep in mind: Since 2017, there are no longer any roaming charges within Europe. So if you are calling from an EU country outside Germany, you will at least not incur any such costs. However, callbacks to numbers with international area codes for the call center often cost several euros per minute. Even the tariffs on Greece are expensive, and there are also high and unknown service fees.

Tip: If you are a victim of a ping with international area codes, you don’t necessarily have to pay for the item on your phone bill. Because the Federal Network Agency lists all suspicious numbers, including area codes in Greece. It also lists those who are prohibited from issuing invoices and debt collection letters. A Google search of the caller’s number, including the area code, can reveal whether the number is a scam.

International dialing code fraud

Spam and ping calls are prohibited in all EU countries. Call centers know this, too. They use the computer to manipulate phone numbers, including the international country code, in order to conceal their identity. They also keep changing their phone numbers. The Greece prefix that appears on the screen does not necessarily mean that the call is coming from Greece. So it is possible that the scammers are from a completely different country.

If a national code with the number 2 can initially be seen on the screen after the phone number for Greece, this does not mean that the code has not been manipulated by call centers. Virtually all area codes in Greece start with 2, regardless of whether the call comes to you from the cities of Arta, Corfu, Ioannina, Karditsa, Nea Moudania, Trikala, Preveza, Rethymno, Tripoli, Larissa or from the island of Rhodes. However, call centers want to appear credible and manipulate area codes at the same time. Even behind the number that has already been assigned, there are often overseas email companies that are difficult for police authorities to obtain. In any case, the phone number of the scammer must be reported to the Federal Network Agency.

In addition to phone numbers with the area code for Greece, the Federal Network Agency also lists the form of fraud associated with it. Spam calls are a well-known scam that often occurs under the Greek area code: calls are made from abroad on the pretext that you have won a contest or that you are receiving a free advertising package. This is how fraudsters obtain personal information, such as address, date of birth and times of attendance at the place of residence.

Phishing from Greece is common: scammers use text messages, phone calls or emails to ask people to open a link or install software. An Internet popup can also be used for this. In the worst case, hackers use it to install programs, access passwords, or your entire computer.

Area code 0030: In the worst case, cybercriminals are behind calls looking for personal data.  They're also happy to convince people to install supposedly useful software for hacking sensitive passwords of PayPal accounts, for example.

Spam calls from other countries are often just sales calls. But these are also legally prohibited if the contact person does not expressly allow it.

Therefore, always inform the Federal Network Agency of the caller’s numbers. This also has the option to issue a prohibition on collection or prohibition of invoices as well as fines for unfair competition. In many cases, numbers with the Greek area code are simply blocked.

Tips about spam and ping under Greece area code 0030

If a phone number unknown with the Greece area code, also known as the access code, appears on the screen, you should not even answer it. Call center computers recognize this behavior and remove the phone number from the call list. Anyone who has actually called or even spoken to a long-time call center employee should check with the Federal Network Agency to see if the number is blacklisted. If not, you must inform the authorities.

Callers should always be made understand that they are not interested, have not participated, and do not wish to receive any sweepstakes, promotions, or Microsoft offers. The conversation can be quickly ended – this is how you show lack of interest. Children in the family should also be instructed not to give the call center agent from the foreign country any personal data and information, such as their address, and not to install any software packages. c

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