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“One-ring” cell phone scam can ding your wallet

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Who’s calling now? That number doesn’t ring a bell. Hold the phone, says the Federal Trade Commission. You could be a potential victim of the growing "one-ring” cell phone scam.

Here’s how it works: 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 calls are from phone numbers with three-digit area codes that look like they’re from inside the U.S., but actually are associated with international phone numbers — often in the Caribbean. The area codes include: 268, 284, 473, 664, 649, 767, 809, 829, 849 and 876.

If you get a call like this, don’t pick it up and don’t call the number back. There’s no danger in getting the call: the danger is in calling back and racking up a whopping bill.

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.

If you’ve been a victim of the “one-ring” scam, try to resolve the charges with your cell phone carrier. If that doesn’t work, file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Communications Commission.

And as a general rule: Read your phone bill often — line by line. If you don’t recognize or understand a charge, contact your carrier.

I’ve got to go now; my cell phone is ringing.

Scam Tags:  Phone Scams


I don't know this number they hang up 210-775-5385 they call once or twice everyday can you please stop the calls reported to att they gave me this information. Thank you

786-204-4358 just called and hung up... seems they are on the robo again.

I've been getting calls from that number (I'm in Florida) for over a year now. It's in Spanish. I added them to my automatic reject list. If you have an android, you should be able to do the same.

Just wanted to say this 78 whatever number.
it called me. and then an hour later called my girl friend. What does that mean? That they scam call a couple both within an hour..?

they did the same here - called me first and then an hour later, my mom got the phone call. I told her not to pick up. I didn't either and no need to call back. If it's important, people leave messages.

If you guys are on the same plan, your numbers will likely be remarkably similar or listed in the same place. If the calls just run down a list, it'll hit one and then another in a short period of time.

they just called me a minute after calling my wife...everyday sometimes three times a day even at 4 in the morning.

I’ve been called at 1 a.m. several times from this number 523-838-4837 I don’t answer and have tried to block the numbers, but they use other numbers.

You can block the entire area code on your cell or landline.


They probably a number like yours so you won't block others that are like yours because, as you say, are on the same plan and ones you want to receive. I'm not sure if you can block all numbers except those in your address book?

I got the call from that number they hung up after 20 sec I or them didn't say a word

I just got a call from them ... I picked up and they didn't answer. Rather than calling back I googled the number, and am I glad I did! Hopefully this will be a one-shot.

People call a lot of random people and then they keep doing it. Like if they call you their trying to find where you live.

Use a prepaid phone they can't charge any extra minutes, you are probably getting scamed

I have been getting these crazy number the number was so somebody please tell me what kind of number is this 479-281-3267 and they took 287.00 off my check card I was mad and posed if u fine out it is what it is

Correction 479 is an area code, in Arkansas, not error code :-) looks like they’re spoofing the number somehow to make it appear that it’s local.

Scammers can call hundreds of numbers at the same time because of their computer programs.
I bet your phone number on your girlfriend's phone number aren't that different from each other.
They just called blocks of numbers.

what do these ppl want? we've been getting these calls for months, i dont see what they are out for. they have ruined the continuity of my office and are calling morning non and nightr on two office cells and my 800nnumber!

Get Android phones and put them on reject list!

You don't need an android phone to block unwanted calls on a cell phone. On an iPhone add the number to your contact list, scroll down and click block. You should also report the number to your service provide (AT&T, Verizon, etc.) to get them blocked there.

Excellent suggestion for the iphone! Thanks

There is an app Privacy Star to block unwanted calls and messages. I do not have to make call to not ever know my number was dialed. A code to block by the provider or log into my account and use the block option there. I use the latter option if the number continues to call or it is someone I do not care to contact me.

Thank you for the tidbit...found it so helpful from a different perspective. Person doesn't call...text instead. Maybe the person is someone who is actually pretending to be close to me...interesting!!!
Thank you!

So with Iphones, you add the scammer number to YOUR CONTACT list to be able to block it. Sounds a bit counter intuitive to me. What if an Iphone user doesn't want to weed through scam numbers when searching their contacts. Boycott anything Apple (except actual apples, they are good for you). Paying for style and chic is so nineties.

You can block numbers on the iphone without adding them to your contact list. When on your list of recent calls just click the "i" in the circle to the right of the number. It will open an info tab, just scroll to the bottom and click block number.

Sorry your crazy rant about Apple is worthless now.

they called my iphone and my work samsung. blocked it on the iphone. no block option on the ol flip phone.

yeah I have this slidy Samsung... can't reject the calls, one good thing about it though is you can set a custom ringtone so I just have a bunch of contacts named things like #spam and #SpamasaurusRex with telemarketer etc #s jammed in and set to No Ring so it won't ring for them

On a lot of older flip phones in the security section there is an option to restrict calls outgoing and incoming to only the numbers listed in your phone. No one else can ever call you. Hope this helps!

I know this is an old thread. And I TRULY SAY THIS IN JEST, and don't mean to offend all the iPhone uses out there most my friends use them and I say the same thing to them.
iPhones suck. and if I've ruffled any feathers, it was just a joke, its just a phone (and I would expect to be much more than that for that much money), which is why I agreed to spend that much money, open source is the way to go! so,
calm down.
but I agree with the thread a hundred ten percent just rejected number whichever way you can t do not call them

I have an iPhone and I have been using the block method for months and I still get 2-3 calls and texts After I block they use a different number.
I’m waiting it out hoping they will stop. I have too many contacts to change phone numbers.

On Iphone, all you have to do is on recent calls press the "i" scroll down to block caller.

Don't need to put their number in yr contact list. Apple iphone has something else called a blocked numbers list, obviously for numbers you want blocked, and they do not appear in yr contact list.....and iPhones are great, I purchased one because I hated all the other is very simplistic :)

You people need to do your research because if you just go to recent calls and click the i button at the bottom you can block the number. I don't know why you all are thinking you have to add them to your contacts, learn your facts before you post it on the Internet.

On iPhone, you don't have to add them to a contact list. In your "recent calls" list, tap the "i" in the circle, and scroll down...then click on "block caller" and confirm. No need for them to be in a contact list.

You don’t have to add numbers to your contact list to block them. You go to recent calls and click on the i that has a circle around it, scroll to the bottom and click on block this caller.

you dont even need to add to contact, go to recent calls hit info next to # scroll down to block this caller

I have an Andriod Phone. I get calls from ramdom number that have my same area code and first three digits. I add each incoming call to the reject list but seems like they change it up and incoming numbers 4 last digits are different therefore having to add them to reject list every single time. it's annoying.

Same. I block any calls that start with my first 6 digits and have it sent to voicemail. Unfortunately my mother's number gets blocked along with the spambots In the voicemail its a Spanish lady speaking Spanish and telling me to press one now

You don'y need to put them in your contact

You don't have to add the number to your contact list. Go to your recent calls list (from the "Phone" app). Tap on the little "i" on the right side of the number you want blocked. Scroll down to the bottom and tap on "Block this Caller". Simple and fast.

I have an iPhone and I have blocked these numbers, but they are still able to somehow still get through and call me. I just got a call again from just the number "7", and my phone indicated a voicemail. However, as usual, there was no voicemail, only a couple of seconds of silence. On some of the numbers I block, the scammers just roll over to the next number and continue to call. (e.g. 555-555-1234 blocked now calls from 555-555-1235) and each time I block numbers they simply move up another digit or change one or two digits and keep calling. I don't talk to them unless they just robo-call and then I yell at them to atop calling me and take my number off their #€%* list! That usually makes them stop for a few days.i have added my number to the Do Not Call List but apparently that doesn't apply to cell phones.

You can add your cell phone number to the Do Not Call Registry.

If you added your number and you're still getting unwanted calls, they could be from groups that are exempt from the list, or from scammers.

Go to to add a number and learn about the Registry.

I you have already registered on the FTC's Do Not Call List, and if after 31 days you continue to receive unwanted calls (other than charities, debt collectors, etc.), you can file a complaint with the FTC here:    National Do Not Call Registry                  Not sure if I can paste links (personally, I wouldn't click on one posted by a stranger lol), but I think you could find the page if you searched for "FTC Complaint Assistance." They ask you questions and walk you through the process. Honestly not sure how much help they could be, but it's worth a try. Also, according to the FTC's site, the rules are the same for cell phones and landline after they have been registered on the do not call list.

For IPhone: You don't even have to add them to contacts. Just go to the recent calls list, click on the "i" across from the #, and in the options for that #, choose block caller at the bottom.

I received a call on my Android from this number: (786) 204-4358. I didn’t recognize it at all so I didn’t answer. I’ve been getting scam, telemarketer, “robo-calls” on my land line for years, this is the first time I got one on my mobile phone. I called the number from my land line (BEFORE reading this article - I have since blocked the number on my land and cell phone as well as reporting it to my phone provider in the event that my call is used to rack up additional charges). It turned out to be a Walmart promo, “Hello! Congratulations, you’ve been selected for a $100 Walmart gift card! Press “1″ to be connected with a live agent in order to claim your gift card.” Gimme a freakin’ BREAK! We don’t even HAVE Walmart in New York City.

786-204-4358 called me also. I was golfing while it rang, so I did not pick up, but I did call it back. I'm not sure if it was a scam or not, but I don't know if I should do anything about it.

Same thing with me and I live in Florida too so Idk and how do you do the reject list

We just got this same call from the exact same number! Why can't something be done with these scammers???

I've been having the same bs problem 4 about a year from 8 diff #'s starting w/(609)-222-****. Then when I call back, people are clueless.Y can't the FTC do anything? These calls come after 9PM, multiple times a day, and are using random paying customers #'s to steal $. I recently was a victim of ID theft. Prob cuz these whacks. On top, I havta pay to block these #'s n they jus keep callin from diff #s.


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