You are here

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

Share this page

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


the scam is perpetrated, they get your information when you incorporate apps into your cellphone through facebook apps, then your another app requests to view your information. There was a way it was they were doing it. I was working for a company and that company had employees that worked in the industry and they were telling me that it was the latest scam.

I literally just got this call some minutes ago and was tempted to take down the email when I decided against it. Since the number was from Ohio, I googled it and instantly found this. I’m so glad I did, now I got to warn my family and friends about it.

Yes, I received a call from this number yesterday as well. No known contact.

No robo,

I just got called by this exact same number. Th hank you for posting. Found this on Google very fast. Hate that we all have to deal with this.

I got that call a few minutes ago at 10:35 pm it's crazy I have kids and it got me mad.

786 204 4358 just called me and my second phone line in less than 10 minutes! Don't answer!

786-204-4358 called me, too… anyone at FTC investigating this number?

i just got a call from that number too, AND I NEVER give out my cell phone number to anyone, I am intrigued where/how these scammers could get my number, that's concerning

Unfortunately, they don't need to "get" your phone number from anywhere. Since phone numbers are a known, predictable format, they just try every possible one.

We used to call this a "WAR DIALER" Watch the movie War Games with Matthew Brodrick to see how it works. I used one in the 80's to find other computers. Basically, it dials one number, waits for the answer, hangs up, then dials the next number up. You just happened to be in the block they were calling.

I just got called by this number and my twin got it a minute later. I did not answer.

Don't pick up its a scam! And it has aFlorida area code!

I just got one of those calls claiming that I had won a 100$ voucher. It showed up on my caller id as a new Hampshire number and They wanted my credit card info. I don't think they will get far with trying to rack up my phone bill because I pay month to month with a prepaid card. Also, my bank account is near empty and I don't have any credit cards in my name.

Same number called ME 4 X'S, IT'S 10:30 at night!!!
Any updates?????

I keep getting calls from that number and when i answer it a Mexican lady comes on at starts yelling at me in spanish. I don't know what she is saying.

They can't be charged. The FTC doesn't have jurisdiction outside of the United States and it's too minor of a crime to justify the huge cost of asking their home country to extradite them for trial.

The numbers are out of FLorida and last time I checked was still in the US

Yea me too, sane number in ohio and somone who works with me ten sec later!!!!!

They're calling Long Island, NY tonight. Spreading the wealth, I guess.

i just changed my number 4 days ago and they called me today at 5:27pm EST

i be getting those call from the same number all the time. i never answer. i get it every week

I hate this caller! Idk who it is but it is freaky how many people gt called from this #

Just got a call from this number too and it's midnight! Thought it could be emergency but decided not to answer and Google number. Luckily there's tons of posts on it. I'm going to have to put them on my reject list and pass info on to everyone I know.

it seems they are targeting cell numbers.

If its a number that I don't trust I will return the call through my Google voice number, which has a balance of $0.00 so I'll never be charged for the call.

I had the same number just call and hang up

The same number 786-204-4358 just called me as well. I looked and the area code is from the Miami area. I don't know anyone from Florida so I decided to look it up before calling back. I'm glad I did.

Just received a call from 786-204-4358. Answered by mistake. Usually do not answer unknown numbers, but I am expecting one from overseas within the next two days.. it was a recorded message in spanish. I just hung up without waiting to hear what the message was about. 786-204-4358

Is there any harm in picking up, but not calling back? I got a call from786-204-4358, and the message was in Spanish.

No harm in picking up the call, BUT it will harm your wallet if you call back.

Picking up the call allows the robot to confirm the number is legitamate and will attempt limitlessly to call you.

Got a call at 8:59pm last night from 786 204 4358.
Why is this number not disconnected yet? Its a Florida number!

That's scary because i got a call from that same number at 8:69 pm as well........ I wasnt in the room thank god. What does it mean? Is there a way to stop it?

What's crazy is 8:69 pm is really 9:09 pm : )

They probably had a mistype. I'm sure they meant 6:59

786-204-4358 just called me too!!

I just found a missed call from (786)204-4358 at 5:49pm, Pacific time (I'm in AZ). I added this # to my reject list.

I just got the same call from that number.. it was odd because it seemed to be all in spanish.

I just had this # call my company cell #

I got a call too at night. I guess it is fake. I didn't call them back after seeing your comment.

I just got a call from 786-204-4358 and had the same experience as y'all -- they hung up. When I get a call from a number who is not in my contacts, I immediately Google the number. They are almost always scam calls. I'm thankful that there are websites like this where we confirm the calls are scams.
As soon as I confirm it is a scam, I enter the number in my contacts and name it "SCAM - DO NOT ANSWER". I have nearly a dozen of them linked together. I didn't know I could block them (need to learn more about my phone!) but will do that next!
Thanks to everyone who posted!

I just got a call from this number. Last time i was receiving calls from some idiot in Texas telling me he was going to kill me, explained where i lived,my family's the same soft ware collection agencies use that they somehow get.

786-204-4358 just called my cell phone last week and was a recording in Spanish so I just hung up. Didn't know about the scam so I'm glad I didn't care to call back.

I got the same call a few minutes ago..when the mexican lady stopped her spanish-speaking gibberish i said,"no habla espanol" lmfao and "it?" Hung up..i get calls from crazy numbers all the time..just ignore it or block it. Dont fret abt it..

Ya, I just got the same one. I figured it could be one of my friends' iphones. They usually have weird numbers. I called back and got a dial tone instead of a recording.

These idiots were calling me up to 5x a day.

Just got a call from that same 786 number. Three+ months after the op! Glad the Feds are doing such a good job stopping this.

they can't really block them. at&t and other international trunk providers could block them but they get a percentage on all international calls.

This number just called me too. Almost called back but checked google first. Found this.

i just got one from this number, too. but it rang more than once

I keep getting calls from them also. I just blocked them on my iphone. Go to recent calls. touch the info button on the right side. Go all the way down and select block caller!

so I was going to buy something on craigslist a 2006 toyota sienna for $4,600. This person Ben Peltay said the car was going to be shipped and I was gonna have 5 days to inspect it and test drive. The company Square trade was going to hold the money until I confirmied I wanted to buy it. I believe it is a scam. Please confirm!!!!!!


Leave a Comment