Don't Return Calls From These Area Codes: 'One Ring' Phone Scam Resurfaces
A common phone scam known as the "one-ring" scam has resurfaced, the Federal Trade Commission is warning consumers. The ruse attempts to trick consumers into returning a missed call — and racking up charges — by calling cell phones and letting them ring once.
Scammers are using auto-dialers to call cell phone numbers across the country. Scammers let the phone ring once — just enough for a missed call message to pop up.
The scammers hope you’ll call back, either because you believe a legitimate call was cut off, or you will be curious about who called. If you do, chances are you’ll hear something like, “Hello. You’ve reached the operator, please hold.” All the while, you’re getting slammed with some hefty charges — a per-minute charge on top of an international rate.
The numbers come free three-digit area codes that look like they're within the United States, but are typically associated with international phone numbers, often in the Caribbean, according to the FTC. If you see you've got a missed call from one of these area codes, do not call back: 268, 284, 473, 664, 649, 767, 809, 829, 849 and 876.
Calls made to those numbers can cost more than $20 for the first minute alone, according to Inc., which first reported that the scam had resurfaced.
According to the FTC, just getting a call isn't enough to cause you to incur charges. The danger lies in calling the number back.
"If you're tempted to call back, do yourself a favor and check the number through online directories first. They can tell you where the phone number is registered," the FTC said.
If you've fallen victim to the one-ring scam, you can try to resolve the charges through your cell phone carrier. If that fails, file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Communications Commission.
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