Tens of thousands of scam mobile phone calls are sweeping across Ireland in an “unprecedented” surge.

The calls, often with international prefixes such as +212, +231, +235 or +269, are designed to trick people into phoning back at premium rates.

While many of the calls come with prefixes from countries such as Liberia (+231) or the Comoros Islands (+269), some members of the public have reported calls using the Austrian prefix of +43.

People are advised to neither answer the call or ring back because it will cost them money.

The scam is known as a ‘wangiri’ call because the mobile phone typically rings just once or twice.

The scammers hope that people will automatically call back without looking too closely at the number.

Do not answer these numbers or call them back, Three do block some reported numbers and other networks are working on a system.

Please share this with your friends and tell those who may be more vulnerable.