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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

Called that number back from work phone...recording says number has been disconnected

I JUST GOT A CALL FROM THEM ! I ANSWERED & SAID HELLO & NOBODY RESPONDED SO I HUNG UP !

Just got a missed call from the same number you've listed...glad I saw this thread.

Here, too. Seems they're still "in business."

I got this exact same number called me like 4 times. So like always i googled it and found this article lol

Yeah, I just got a call from that number as well, I didn't pick it up, SMH

I got a call from 786-204-4348 two days ago. when I picked it up it was a pre-recorded message all in spanish. I hung up and blocked the number.

702-099-1154, 615-863-3044, 91-226-196-9696 all call my number but say they are disconnected when I call right back. Now I will no long answer unknown numbers.

I was called 2 with an number from Londen lol

I think I got a call from this same number too. I know it was a 210 area code.

Mine was a 5055655079 six times. 8453563537 three

210 is San Antonio Texas

I've been getting calls from numbers that look exactly like mine only the last four are different & when I call back its a Spanish person.

these are not Florida numbers as they appear but both (786)204-4358 and (407)205-0232 are two numbers that ring once and then the call is cut off. That's fine, I have my phone set up to send certain calls into voice mail (they will be charged for the call if they call again).

the 210-775-5385 number is a loan scam according to the search I did. You should be able to block the number if they keep calling.

I have gotten several calls from these numbers.
I now block the numbers from my cell phone

I got this call from 786-204-4358 last night at 11:35 pm. I did not recognize it and almost called back to let someone have it for waking me up but I just went back to bed. glad I checked on it. thanks

697-316-5054
This number calls and pretends to be a credit card company or a Mortgage Bank representative. They have a recoding telling you to call back in and give them all your personal information. If you answer a number you don't recognize and a recording starts with "there is nothing wrong with your credit but… HANG UP and report the number! DO NOT give anon on the phone all your personal information!

Area code 697 is fake. No area code in North America has a 9 as the centre digit.

Unfortunately, the owners of PRI (primary rate interface) lines, the lines used for office private branch exchanges, can send any bogus number on caller ID. Most of the voice-over-Internet companies have those lines, and many allow their clients to send fake numbers to call display.

Odds are, the telephone companies know more than what they're displaying when it comes to spam telephone calls - they have a number for billing purposes which is separate from call display. Unfortunately, if the scams are originating on the Internet, this identifies just the gateway - not the origin, which may be foreign or criminal. As long as the telephone companies are making money on all of those calls, they have no incentive for this to stop... if anything, they profit by making their residential landline subscribers pay extra for call display and extra again for caller name display.

If you don't recognise the number, don't answer it. Let the machine deal with it. Unfortunate, but that's the consequence of cheap telephone access via Internet. Same mess as e-mail, where there's more spam than real mail.

if i answered my phone i would be worried but most of the time its on silent and i don't know anyone called till later

I got a call that woke me up, telling me something, forget what now, and the robot voice said call us back at this number. They gave a number but I didn't catch it. I called back from the number in my caller log. A robot voice came on and said, this is not a working number. Another strange thing. I have my phone set up to ring like a old house phone. On the first ring, it's like two short rings together and the other rings are normal. It's like ringring r i n g r i n g r i n g.

Area code 210 is a San Antonio, TX area code.

I just
received this type of call once on my work number and then immediately after on my cell but both my cell and work number showed the robo call as coming from "Anonymous."

FTC please help find a way to block these scams.

Just the other myself, my fiance, and her father all got a phone call from this number 786-204-4348. I scrolled down through the list and found several updates. So, just thought I'd add that it happened 2 days ago. Our cell phone provider blocked the number free of charge.

On your iPhone click on Phone app; then click Recent; then on call you want to stop click the 'i' inn circle at the right of it; scroll to the bottom of the information and click on Block This Caller. That will take care of them call you again.

Try to reject the no# on call settings (at phone pad hit menu, settings,regect no#. Hope that helps to stop those calls

i have been called from 201-312-6893 has called me but i didn't answer but i googled it and hopefully something happens

Do not answer 204, this number just called me. It was only a three digit number.

289-404-9601 same phone scam, just different number calling Canadians.

Exact same issue!!! he had my address, The call said it was from Fl. He gave me his number 117086 name Robert. He told me i was going to be arrested today. I called irs and they told me im fine!!!!!. he had a Foreign voice also. This is such bs! be careful! Caller: said US Treasury Call Type: Debt Collector from past year IRS

You can always block the number. I do this all the time and when they call back, the phone only rings once.

Don't pick up 863-858-0854 or 863-661-2827 both scams

(539) 999-1048 is a scam number, beware

Scammers are pinging to see if your number would be good to call in the future to attempt to scam you. If no answer then they will call off and on for a month to see if you are really a live number. Do not answer and they will stop

Area codes 210 and 726 are in or near San Antonio, Texas. The phone number +12107755385 has had massive amounts of complaints, The one I'd be more on alert for is the Antigua and Barbuda scam as a more and more people say that the caller calls you from this country. When they scam you or "one ring" you. They are also leaving a bomb in your wallet if you call back. Beware of these kinds of calls, block them because you never know where that phone number is actually from.

is there anything they cannot scam?

Thanks for such valuable information... If you register your number with the do not call list and you pay for an unlisted number, who is allowed to call you other than your family and friends? How are they getting your name and number? Especially, these people who call and say something is wrong with my PC. They claim to be from Microsoft I believe. I tell them I don't have a system and I'm gonna give this number to the attorney generals office. They stop for a while, then start again with a new number.
Again, thanks for all you do.

The whole month of Feb. I have been receiving calls every hour from #1-215-220-2321 (It comes up SCHOOL DISTRICT on my caller id. It is always a man with foreign accent about winning a Wal-Mart gift card. The other #1-845-666-1697 (also a man with same accent) tells me they are from Microsoft and there is a problem with my PC? They always hang up on me when I tell them to stop calling! It is driving me nuts! How do we report these numbers? and will it do any good?

You can always make a police report out. I report them to DoNotCall.gov but it doesn't really seem to help. I also make a report on them online to sites like "who called me" or others. And the best thing, just add them to your blocked callers list.

Police report LOL. Perhaps in your area they work however crap like this has occurred for well over ten years n just gets craftier so cop reports must still b round filed with sept 11 cop reports. When was your first call from 1-000-000-0000?

don`t bother making a report, they usually don`t even do anything unless you`ve actually been hauled up by this scam. I say don`t waste the time and give yourself a migraine over this, just be careful, block numbers that are used in the scam, and lookup any unknown number before you call it back.

They just use an autodialer and it calls every single number combination one-after-the-next in order. They don't know who they are calling.

I had the same guy call from "microsoft" over a hundred times I have told him I don't have a pc...I swear it is the same guy. He keeps trying to insist I have a pc... I am like I told you to stop calling me... and then he hangs up.... I want to smack this guy I swear... he sounds like he is in india somewhere... uggg

201-279-5864 has called me two times in the last four days. Each time, it rang only once.

It is avery good feedback and advice for cell-customers.

The best thing to do is to try to look at the number that is calling, if you don't know the number just don't answer. When I receive calls from people with a foreign accent, I just hang up.

Mitch, if you have an Android or iPhone, you can add the number to your blocked callers list. If not, contact your carrier and ask them to put a block on that number. I don't believe there's a charge for that service. Not if they want your business, anyways.

I've got his call and the number is 08-1363118429 this number call me many times but i never answer or call back. Thank you for informing us about this kind of scam.

got a call from someone that said their name was Adrian Robbins with the federal trade commission @ 866-996-5997 and that my wife had won $75,000 and a Toyota Corolla. They gave her a conformation number as well. They wanted a $30 processing fee.

The Federal Trade Commission does not give out prizes. Any call or email saying you have won a prize from the Federal Trade Commission is a scam. Delete the email or hang up the phone immediately. 

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