Police are warning Queenslanders of an elaborate African phone scam and have urged residents not to return the call.
On Tuesday, an officer almost fell victim to the scam, known as the "one ring and cut," by noticing an impossibly early missed phone call.
The scammers, from Cameroon in Central Africa, ring at an inconvenient time, reducing the chances of their target answering.
Instead, they hope the victim returns the call and then slams them with international premium call rates as they have set up a toll number.
"This means that the revenue made from your international call to their newly set up phone number is shared between the telephone company and the scammers," Senior Constable Steve Smith said in a media release.
"The rates charged for these return international calls are the highest possible you could imagine.
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"Prepaid users often find themselves with little to no credit left afterwards, other phone users only identify the damage incurred when they receive their next phone bill."
The scammer on the other end of the line tries to keep the caller on the line as long as possible, by telling them a loved one has died or that they have won money.
Police warned those who have called the number back could have had their personal details compromised.
The same scam circulated in New Zealand in April and was called the "Wangiri scam."
Snr Sgt Smith warned people to not return a call originating from Cameroon or unknown international numbers.
Scams can be reported through the Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network (A.C. O. R. N).