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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 just got a call as well, didn't call back. If this really is a scam, what exactly are these people getting out of ripping people off? I can't imagine they get paid for having someone on the line. Maybe people who have something against you add you to a list for revenge or something.

I had a missed call from that 786-204-4358 number on my cell phone today. I did a Google search and found a lot of information about how it was a scam call and how some people were harassed by it. I am on the "Do Not Call List," too, but people like this don't even take that into consideration....

I just got a phone call from this number, but I did NOT answer it. I do NOT answer any numbers I don't know. They let it ring 4 times, hung up, and then called back again and let it ring another 4 times. Its a robo dialer. Don't let it bother you folks, just ignore and go on. You are letting them win by griping about the idiots. Life is too short. And they apparently have NO life to speak of.

Has anyone written their representatives in Congress? Because the real issue is that "spoofing" a phone number is perfectly legal. You cannot even answer your own phone anymore and now, you cannot even answer your cell phone either. Write your elected reps in Congress and demand they make spoofing phone numbers illegal! They are legitimizing telemarketing fraud by allowing this. Any reason to allow spoofed phone numbers had by now been overshadowed by rampant phone fraud. Demand they stop it NOW!

We get continued robo-call phishing scam calls from various 800 numbers. They even leave recorded messages to call back for an ATT $500 gift card. AT&T has been no help. I can't even get them to block the 800 area code on our phones.I guess they make more money from the "phishers" than the "phishees".

Why not spoof them back with a on line web site and keep doing it until they get SICK of it and at same time u can record their stupid voices !

This is the first time I got a call on my
cellphone and I am glad I looked it up.
Thank you Google. How can we stop these scammers
once and for all!!

I received a call from 786-204-4358 several evenings in row. I do not answer it and there is no message. This number has been calling my landline too....wish it would stop. :(

I got a call from 786-204-4358 today. I didnt answer or call back. I hope the police catch these idiots!

Those people are jerks

I have been getting calls from these numbers.. 202-666-8460, 619-489-0302, 202-556-5522, 458-785-54655(this one had extra number in it.. but didn't call it)

I have been getting calls from these numbers.. 202-666-8460, 619-489-0302, 202-556-5522, 458-785-54655(this one had extra number in it.. but didn't call it)

I have been calls from these numbers..202-556-5522
4-587-855-4655(extra number.. didn't call back)
619-489-0302 202-666-8460 931-378-7819 678-260-3571....678-260-3869&3569 619-478-6153
323-489-7500 678-767-1888... I added all these to my reject list... so they couldn't come through.

I just received the call, picked up, said hello & I get someone speaking Spanish. I don't speak Spanish but I did recognize the word ocho.. I hung up after I didn't get a response. I am going to add them to my block list. I have an Android

I just received a call from a 13 digit number....googled it and found nothing. Anybody heard of 8615906546373?

Has anyone ever heard of receiving a call from a 13 digit number - 8615906546373. I received a call from this number tonight.

Country code 86 is China according to fonefinder.net. They have phones all over the world now.

Before receiving this call did any one of you make a blocked call too any government office or law firm?

Before receiving this call did any one of you make a blocked call too any government office or law firm?

unknown caller ,, did not answer ... no message left

I just got a call from this number. Never usually get random calls from Florida.

I got a call from (786) 204-4358
FL, USA at 3:05 p.m. I just declined because if it's important, they can leave a message. If you get a call from this number don't answer! Just ignore it and then if you have an iPhone, block the number.

omg i JUST got a call from them too

There's hope.

If calling that number results in a message from your wireless carrier. Something stating that the number is blocked. And briefly why. Details availalbe via link or text.

This is technologically possible 45 years after the moon landing. And there's even a federal trade commission that could regulate it.

This is a phone scam run by the Mexican Cartels. If you answer on a smartphone, it downloads program that allows them to see you through phone camera anytime. Block the number and don't answer. Your money will only supply the Cartel.

So, this 786-204-4358 called in February (2014) and I didn't answer, didn't call back. No problems. Forward to three days ago (April 26) and I receive a pic/media message. My cell phone service and phone (not sure which is 'guilty' of the following) will not allow you to see the sender until you 'retrieve' the message. Thinking this is an expected pic of a family member, I retrieve message... only to be told I have a data balance of 'zero' which I know is definitely NOT true (have never used even 25% of data allotment, and new air/balance time had just kicked in on the 23rd... in other words, basically full data allotment should have been available). I send a few regular texts to ask my usual senders of pic mail if they'd sent something, etc. -- no one recalls sending a message around that time. Look at my call history and... 'that' number is listed as calling twice on that day, same time as that 'stamped' on the mysterious message that no one I've asked (about 7-8 folks) claims to have sent. This can't be merely coincidence, can it? More importantly, what can be done to prevent this from happening in future (in addition to more vigilance on my part)?

Just got a call from 786-204-4358. Ignored. No message.

The 786-204-4358 number rang on my phone, and I didn't answer it because I thought it was another scam: the East Indian job recruiting boiler room people, where they use Skype to look as if they're calling from within the U.S. Because I got way too many emails and calls from them, I didn't even bother to call back. If someone with an Indian name emails and/or phones you about a job opening, it just might be someone from those Mumbai or Calcutta boiler rooms.

There is no harm in checking out whether it is a genuine call or not, no matter from where the call is being made. If there is something fishy like asking for your details, then do not respond.

Phone rang. Checked Caller ID. Didn't recognize the number. Didn't answer. Done. No muss. No fuss. Not much time taken up with nonsense.
Didn't pick up to let the caller(s) know that it was a viable number.
Didn't listen to find out what accent was used or what the purpose of the call was. Didn't care then. Don't care now.
Didn't get upset if the DNC was adhered to (I'm on it but scammers, who don't follow the DNC guidelines, will find ways to get around it) or what Obama is going to do about it.
I have a life and instead of getting bent out-of-shape, morally indignant, cursing and slamming the phone down, and making this a big deal (instead of the small irritant that I choose to make it), I move on with my life. I'm in charge of what takes up my time.
That's just what I do. Simple. More power for me and for you, if you follow my lead, right?

P.S. The DNC IS working; otherwise, calls from legitimate charities, political action
committees, annual fundraising, and other businesses that ARE following
would be calling, also.

It's hard to believe this number is still going strong. Just got a missed call from this number. I'm in IN, but have a NY number. I'm glad this blog post was here.

Yep, they are calling 832 numbers...

Lol @ Sophrosyne! Wow..How many comments did you read?!?

Just received a call, in Spanish, from this number. Calling husband now to tell him to add the 'block' on his phone.

Started right after I gave my phone to optical department at local retailer, that starts with Sea_ and ends with s. Never answer.

The warnings are legitimate. The FTC, BBB and other legitimate sources in the United States have issued warnings about the scam. The scammers use auto-dialers to call cell phones and hang up after one ring in the hope that people will call back. If you receive one of these one ring calls do not call back. Refer to the detailed analysis below for more information about this scam.

If the phone company won't resolve the scam...how do we know they're not "in-on-it?'

I just got a call from 786-204-4358 - didn't answer in time. When I called back, my cat died.

What if I actually picked up the "one ring" call? I answered the call, and just heard a "beep" before they hung up (the call only lasted 4 seconds). I did not call the number back though, since I ended up looking it up and found this page. Do I need to be worried at all?

I got a call from 786 204 4358 and then my couch started on fire.

I got that scam call and I'm:253.

There are so many apps which can help us to track the sender location. So download it now.

...would like to kick their a$$..... pretty bad when this is what you choose to do for a dollar...
get a real job!!!!!!! bunch of loosers!

7:47 PM from 563-362-0253 tell selected by Govt> for non repay grant. Told on Do Not Call List, & discontinued. 7:50 PM same caller, 7:53 PM same caller w/obsenities, curses, foul language. Several times a day Credi Card Services with recorded message. Asked to stop< has no effect. This all is US Govt fault. Law passed to stop, however Compalints seem not to be followed up and thus callers know, and continue to call. Why???

Got a call from 7862044358. I answered, there was a pause and then a very loud recording in Spanish started. It was a woman's voice. I hung up immediately do hopefully no strange charges will appear. Crazy the posts I've seen here, I'm going to block it now.

Received a call from (786) 204-4358 at 11:30 pm. Glad I didn't answer. Googled it.

I got a call from 786-204-4358 today. I didn't know anything about this and this is the first time this has happened to me. I didn't call back, but answered the call and didn't respond when I heard the Spanish automated message. I just hung up. I know now to block this call, and I'll let friends and family know to avoid this call. Thanks for the info guys :) I'm from Mississippi, btw.

Just got the 786-204-4358 call. I have a Western New York area code.

Just called us too. Both lines on the same plan and called by bf and then called me...added to reject list...ty

Anyone get a call from 734-418-9505?

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