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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.

Comments

I would like to start a class action law suit against the telephone companies who do not cutoff the phone numbers of the scammers. Without the phone service these types of scams with dry up.

Same thing called wrong once hung up

I'm in Australia and got a one-ring call in the middle of the night from a phone number that originated in Latvia.

The number was +37122853022 (displayed on my mobile phone as +371 22 853 022 )

Recently my husband and I were scammed over the phone when it was supposed to be a local number we were calling. According to a detective these people in India and different counties are using our local satellites and pinging their numbers from there so it seems like we are getting local calls and we can really take them.

‭Someone from +40 819 554 58‬ Is calling me from Romania! I googled this number but was unable to find any information. How to stop all these robo and unwanted solicitation calls?

Many of these scammers use programs like Skype where they can enter any number they wish to show as the caller-id number. The Do Not Call list is also a joke because the only times I get these scam calls is after I sign up for the Do Not Call list. They use the list as a way of getting numbers to call. The list is only good for companies that obey the law and check it before calling. It won't stop the scam calls, it just helps them to find numbers.

914-269-4129 is a scam company of calling card sale.

Has anyone gotten a call from the number 352-045-2641? They have called 3X this morning!

...hello there I am new. I think I got scammed. Lots of phone numbers and emails. But I learned my life own lessons. I hope I never go through this again. I feel so embarrassed about this situation... but thanks reading these emails I feel better.

I get more calls from these random numbers everyday, so much so I stopped answering my phone. It's getting ridiculous. I just say if it's important they will leave a message. I'm sure they trying to either scan your phone by calling you or they hoping your voicemail states who you are so they can steal your information. By all means try it, fix my credit, you wanna be me, pay my student loans while you're at it.

Better advice is don't call back any number you don't know. If it's a spammer, there's a very good chance it's a fake number that belongs to some poor person who didn't make the call, and everyone is calling back cursing at him/her for no reason.

‭+212 6 80 21 63 05‬
They are at it again.
Got a missed one from Morroco last night.

I saw the missed call and I called back, I want to ask, besides the huge bill I got, can they also get access to my apps and stored documents on my phone?

Call from 646 513 0022 at 2:38 in the morning and when I called the number the recording said "hello friend, please leave a message".
I'm concerned now that they will try to bill me. I called back six times since I was so annoyed!

They may have changed their tactics. I received a call on my land line from 708 876 8174. Caller ID showed "SOFTWARE ARCHIT". Naturally I did not answer.

I just got a call from a 541 number and I’m just a minor and he was talking about me getting a car

+7 954 078-61-48 how can i know if this number will hack my phine because i answer the call

Looks like they added me to their list. I received a call from +242 8 0111 9950, which my phone detected was from the Congo.

Needless to say, I didn't answer.

I got a call this morning. My phone tells me where the call came from. It only rang once it said Republic of the Congo.

I got a call from 505 437 5366 I can get up to $365.00 off my mortgage I don't a house how did they get my number ? It was a text message

Getting such calls from 1-767-316-2495 I even picked up one of the calls. It was hung up immediately.

this number called me an hour ago which is puzzling me as my cell number is a uk cell.i am only visiting the us briefly

I am getting at least 10 calls a day with my area code and the prefix 810 and 811 numbers. I made the mistake of calling it back. Then I became the victim of a scam. I think the two things are connected and it scares me. It’s also annoying to get that many calls. Blocking the number doesn’t help. They just use a new number. Why is also on my mind. Why are people getting these calls ?

Number: +1 (320) 390-3566
Category: IRS TAX SCAM
Voicemails say, IRS criminal division is calling and that "you will be taken 'under' custody by the local cops as there are 4 serious allegations 'pressed' against your name unless you call 360-390-5445." Bad English indicates non-English speakers created the script.
Related Numbers: 360-390-5445 Called
From: 4 numbers.
Call type: IRS TAX SCAM.
Fraudulent Scam Warning: THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT DOES NOT CALL TO NOTIFY YOU OF CRIMINAL CHARGES. DO NOT PROVIDE YOUR FINANCIAL INFORMATION OVER THE PHONE. This is likely an overseas operation using a VOIP phone number and robocall automation. Do not answer calls from numbers you do not recognize. Calls and voicemails from 360-390-5445 began on 11/13/18.

Been getting lots of Scams call from 1 615 235 0537 and a Turkey Number: 90 114 58607 They hang up when you call back that number is not working.

Thank you for this valuable information. :)

I let call go to answering machine when I checked message I ta press 1 to accept the charges so if you answer don't press 1

I got a voicemail from a North Korea number today - 85018003323689. The voicemail is in Korean (or Chinese, I've no idea) - should I report it somehow? it has to be some kind of scam... didn't try calling the number back

I live in Slovenia/Europe. My number is not public. First, the whole weekend I got dozens of text messagas relating Uber and verifying login to Uber (and Uber does not perform its services in Slovenia!!), and when I blocked text messages, I began to get calls from US phone numbers (Georgia, New Mexico). I needed to block every call from US (+1 ***) to have a piecefull night.
Luckely, calls from US are not everyday's routine for me, so I checked the text messages and phone numbers on internet. I found, that they are all relateted to some kind of criminal. It is a global issue not only US issue. Be fine all!

i just got a called from number 0230 and i live in Pakistan it in neither any city code nor any emergency number. and how can someone from outside the country call me.

+1 400-331-134 got a call from this number

‭00 232 21 74 95 10‬ Called today and immediately hung up

I have been getting several scam phone calls; notice they always only show the State's Name (i.e. - Massachusetts or Louisiana, etc.), and when I look at my phone before swiping it open, it shows a trail number behind it. For example, one scam number is: (337) 376-5903, but if I DON'T swipe my phone open and look to see what activity on the screen it shows has come into my phone, the number shows this: (337) 376-5903;rn=+1225772
I've Googled this type of numbering on my phone and computer, and have not, as of yet, found the result stating in detail what or who these scammers are and where they are from. Other recent numbers incoming are: (337) 555-0155 and (888) 202-4252. Before I swipe open my phone, both numbers are followed by the same trail symbols and numbers, above. What does anyone think their angle is? (Also, I initially called the (337) 376-5903 number, and a guy answered and giggled under his breath and told me he is a car salesman... I hung up, then)

Years ago, I had my landline carrier, At&T, block my home phone from receiving or sending any calls outside the USA. I have not rec'd any charges. I did personally talk w/a "live" person to request this free
action. I get about 3 scam calls, daily, & don't think any have been outside the US. I never answer & they leave no msgs. I bought a call blocker to add to my initial 250 provided by my carrier, which has to be almost full. I usually only block a nr if they call twice. Those on Caller ID that say "Invalid Nr." never call back w the same nr . Most scammer nrs have my 478 Area Code. I Google the nrs & block if 800 Notes or another website give negative comments.

Got a call 3-532-254-5458 all they said was a last name for the household and hung up. Wonder if it's a variant of this scam (who will call back based on a call display anymore!) as they know just a bit about you. Was to a landline but who knows if they know. Normally do not pick these up - have to keep the guard up.

In the last week, I have received several calls from 375449943286 and 375299015475. All these calls have been between 3 and 5 in the morning. I do not answer or call back, but they are very disconcerting when they wake you up from a deep sleep. I hope these scams are being investigated.

Three weeks ago I received a call and a voice message on my cell phone from (866)332-1219. It was supposedly from the Social Security Administration, that they had suspended my SS# because of suspicious activity. If I wanted more information to press 1. Beware. The Social Security Administration told me they wouldn't contact you by phone. It's all done by US mail.

I know this is an old blog, but I see a couple of more recent updates in it. So I am hoping that someone can answer me a question. I understand that calling the phone number is halfway across the world can cost a large amount of money, and I already take precautions so that does not happen in my household. However, I am confused as to who actually profits from this? The charges would go to the telephone provider, not the scammer. So what does the scammer have to benefit by? I know this is an old blog, but I see a couple of more recent updates in it. So I am hoping that someone can answer me a question. I understand that calling the phone numbers halfway across the world can cost a large amount of money, and I already take precautions so that does not happen in my household. However, I am confused as to who actually profits from this? The charges would go to the telephone provider, not the scammer. So what does the scammer have to benefit by?

It's probably similar to a 900 number. But they don't need to ask for a credit card since they can just bill your cell phone provider.

And possibly because it's a foreign service, they aren't required to get your permission before they start charging you.

Got a call from +222 34 42 43 25, Mauritania west Africa. It rang twice then listed as missed call. I did not answer or call back. No voice mail left.

222 34 47 91 00 just called and hung up when i answered. Google says its a number in africa.

Just got one miss call from +359 2 490 3356. Don't know who is calling but didn't answer and didn't return the call either. They don't seem to run out of numbers to use though: +359 2 490 2247, +359 2 490 5129, +359 2 437 4173, +359 2 437 4158, +359 2 437 4807, +359 2 490 3362, +350 2 490 3359, +359 2 490 3376, + 359 2 490 3348, +359 2 490 2249, +359 2 437 4158, +359 2 495 8562, + 971 6 519 6554, +960 2 32671759

I keep getting calls from different numbers..Some come.from Michigan and I dont know where the others comes from
If I answer they will say "Hello your social security number is being charged with fraud.Please click 1 to speak to a officer..if you click.one it gone on hold then it hangs up.They will.also leave that msg on my voice mail..If you try to call them back it says .call regected.
I am also.getting the 2 rings calls
mentioned above..when I tried to call it back it's says I dont have enough on money on my phone to make this call.I have prepaid not a Bill phone.I.also get on that is a private number and sounds like a recording and hello this is Jenny.Then it hangs up.

I think a prepaid phone will not permit the call from going through

Whic number is +31 13 369 9568??? They called and called

Here is another number to block +257 76 78 74 86, it originates from a lovely sounding name, Burundi.

They are back!!
1+47669312022

These idiots are calling before 6am on a Saturday.

Unwanted multiple calls to my cell and my husband as cell ph all night long, I have blocked the numbers but they somehow unblock it and continue to call! I never answer but the call starting at 1:00 am until 4:00 am the area codes are international ??? 1-994 and 1-451

I just received another call from the same number 1-994-515-492-440
I blocked this number but it continues to come through

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