“One Ring” Phone Scam Could Cost You

Written by on April 24, 2019

If your phone rings once and then stops, think twice before returning the call. It may be a scam.

Some cell phone customers are receiving calls from phone numbers with three-digit area codes that appear to be domestic, but are actually associated with international pay-per-call phone numbers. These calls often disconnect after one ring to try to tempt customers to return the call.

If you receive a call like this and don’t recognize the number of the incoming call, experts say that you should not return it. If you do, you may be connected to an international hotline than can charge a fee for connecting, along with significant per-minute fees if they can keep you on the phone.

If you return the call you will be connected to a phone number outside the United States, often in Canada or the Caribbean. For example, “649” goes to the Turks and Caicos, “809” goes to the Dominican Republic, “284” goes to the British Virgin Islands, and “876” goes to Jamaica.

If you are billed for a call you made as a result of this scam, first try to resolve the matter with your telephone company. If you are unable to resolve it directly, you can file a complaint with the FCC at no cost.


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