A rogue phone scam has been luring inquisitive Australians into unknowingly forking out big bucks on return calls to an international number. 

Mysterious incoming calls made to mobile devices from Cameroon in Central Africa are so short they give users no opportunity to answer, Kidspot reports. 

That's when those who dial the number back are stung with giant charges, which increase with every minute the phone call lasts, according to Telstra. 

Most don't discover the consequences of returning the scam call until it is too late, learning of the damage only after seeing their next phone bill.  

A new scam has left Australians forking out big bucks for returning calls to their mobile devices from Cameroon in Central Africa

A new scam has left Australians forking out big bucks for returning calls to their mobile devices from Cameroon in Central Africa

A new scam has left Australians forking out big bucks for returning calls to their mobile devices from Cameroon in Central Africa

A similar case of fraudulent activity swept across New Zealand earlier in the year, which aptly became known as Wangiri — 'one ring and cut' in Japanese. 

Outgoing calls made to international numbers utilise infrastructure owned by another country, and providers usually charge high rates to use foreign networks.

In the Wangiri operation, scammers posed as a network in another country, and therefore reaped benefits from people who returned its calls, NewsHub reported.   

Calls are so short they give users no opportunity to answer, prompting users to find out who tried to contact them

Calls are so short they give users no opportunity to answer, prompting users to find out who tried to contact them

Calls are so short they give users no opportunity to answer, prompting users to find out who tried to contact them

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