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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

Got a one-ring call from 706 157 8039, has anyone got a hang-up from this number?

I just got a call from 786-204-4358. I rang and then went to a missed call.

I received a missed call from number 786-204-4358 on 5/20 at 12:03 PM. I didn't return the call, my curiosity hadn't peaked at the time. I'm glad I checked this site about it first, saved me and my wallet. To the FTC, what are you doing about it??

Received a call from 786 204 4358, just one ring. No message left. Didn't call back - just googled the number. =/

just got a call from the number 786-204-4358 didn't pick up. But i decided to Google the number and i am glad that i don't pick unless i know the number. 5/22/2014

I just got a call from 786-204-4358, didn't pick up. There was no message, but I decided to Google the number. I'm glad that I didn't pick it up.

I just got a call while traveling for business I in Ohio and the ph# 786-204-4358 called my cell. I never answer calls from phone numbers I don't know. They did not leave a voicemail. I typed phone number 786-294-4358 and I am glad I did. If you see the ph # 786-204-4358, do not answer.

Just received call from 786.204.4358. Answered on first ring, heard beep, then woman speaking Spanish.
Hung up.

Just got a call from 786-204-4358. I didn't recognize it and let it go to voicemail. they left a message in Spanish and then there was a looooong silence and then they hung up.

I received a call from 786-204-4358 I don't trust these people one iota,their annoying looks like verizon could do something about it .

I received these same calls, dont trust em one iota. SCAM!

786-204-4358 just called Texas

I've got a new twist for you. If you answer the call it auto dials another number, you can hear it dialing. I'm smart enought to know it is some maggot from overseas trying to do a rip off.

You hang up when you hear the dialer go on & report them to the FTC & the phone company.

Coming from a cell phone in area code 515.

I just received a call from (876) 369-9238. I don't normally answer calls from numbers I don't recognize, but I'm currently working with several new schools so I wasn't sure. The man who answered had a thick Jamaican accent and I hung up immediately. After throwing the number in Google, the call was from Kingston JM. I have added the number to the reject list on my Android phone. I'm also contacting my service provider to speak with them.

786-204-4358 called me just now and it was on the heels of me buying something from Google Play; you have to wonder if somebody like that is selling your numbers.

Just got the call now @9:16pm from 786-204-4358 but my brother got one from them yesterday. We're on the same plan but our number prefixes are completely different. (704 vs 501)

While I was watching tv, the phone rang and my number, with a 1 in front of it, with my name popped up on the caller ID and on my tv, I didn't answer, they left a message, it was a telemarketer telling me how I can get a loan easy through them. This totally freaked me out and not sure how someone can call my home, using my home phone number? Please advise...thank you!

They are using your home internet router as a access point. That's why it had your info on the caller ID. Other calls to other ppl could have been made using your network as well and using your routers IP address. So your caller ID probably showed up there as well, if other calls were made. What you need to understand is that it is all automated. These are not real people randomly dialing numbers. This is also why it is a good idea to change your routers login and password. I'm not talking about your wifi password, but the actual passsword to the router admin account. 95% of people never change the login and password from factory default and a very very large percentage of all the admin passwords are all identical.

I am in the military and currently deployed to Afghanistan. I have my personal cell phone here in case of emergencies. In the middle of the night last night I received a call from 786-204-4358. I am on the national Do Not Call registry. Apparently these spammers do not care about such things.

Advice from a marine! Hey brother, I used to get those, then I switched to a prepaid cell, they can't make any charges to it, they will leave you alone, costing them money, LOLL

(786) 204-4358 called me. I didn't have my phone with me at the time. So, when I saw missed call later, I didn't know who it was. So, I found this. So, like all the other reports on this website are saying: DON'T PICK UP THE PHONE!!! IT IS CHARGING YOU HARD EARNED MONEY!!! Also, just to be clear, like everyone else is saying, it is a Florida area code and comes up as FL, USA on my iPhone. Not sure about Androids or other phones.

786-204-4358 Rang me during Yoga session. I did not pick up. They have phoned me before. I have them listed in my phone As SCAMMER.
Very irritating folks

My wife and I both got calls from this (786) 204-4358 number. On the iphone, just click on the 'i' next to the number, in the recents list, and scroll to the bottom to "Block this caller". It would be really nice, however, if the FTC would do something about it.

(786) 204-4358 just called me in NC. I wish I had an iphone, instead of my old blackberry. I don't think I can block calls.

Got a call from 402 952 4444. I checked " on who called me". It was from Nebraska. No message. I don't answer a number I don't recognize.

I keep getting calls from different 1-800 numbers, different #s every time. No messages, just calls - #s like 800-178-2043. I've blocked them, but it doesn't matter cause it's a new number with each call. Unless anyone has another idea, I'm thinking my only alternative is a new cell phone # - this is really annoying!!!

Calls happening in Richmond, VA this afternoon from the following numbers: 18662741177, 12032428112, 12523878525, 12603442791, 12532209523, 10000121233. Calls were coming in back to back and then less often. Callers were female and male. Some talked very fast and others said nothing.
All calls came in on my free govt. cell. Need to know what I can do to stop this. There is no block service on the govt phone.

I just got a call from that number at 5:01 pm today, thought it was a job offer call. Glad I googled it before I called that number. Idk how theyve been doing this so long. and it does say its an FL number.

all my family recieved call from 800 numbers same time.
its happen twice this week.anyone know what is it?

Call 207-256-0554 to complain and get these calls stopped.

Mike Lillibridge MMJ Promotions of Maine is someone who sells your info to these scammers.

Just received a call from 786.204.4358. Just blocked it. Thanks for the info!

RING

Hey Everyone. I got the call fom 786-204-4358 last night at about 8:02 pm. I hit Ignore on my android. Then I blocked my number and dialed it back twice. it was constantly busy. I called my carrier this morning and explained the situation and that research on google has the number listed as a scammer. My carrier dialed the number and confirmed the busy signal also. I have my account reviewed by the carrier and they claim no outstanding extra charges. If you have an android phone, go to the CALL menu and put this number on your black list. It is ashame that my carrier cannot block the number.. but they did say they would monitor my line and eliminate any fraudulent charges if they appear. My rep also said that if you do get the other side on the line, it is possible for the ROBOT to infect your phone with spyware and clone your contacts. They recommend to run spyware software. Luckily my droid came with LOOKOUT software that I just used to run a full diagnostic. All is ok thus far. Ashame that the FCC cant do anything for us.. just block them on your phone if you can.

This number called my phone earlier today and I called it back thinking it was a friend of mine who lives in Florida. The government needs to do something about this being as they don't do anything else for us Americans. I'm so sick of them letting people do this to those of us who work for a living!

My android got something ( spyware? ) on it when Iwent to a webwebsite that wouldn't let me back out of. Every time I hit the back key a new advertisement kept popping up. Ever since my android struggles to turn off and I think its some type of spyware? Now with the previous post I'm concerned that getting calls from 786-204-4358 has something to do with that.

Factory reset. But backup your contacts first. Power off. Hold power home screen lock all together then release screen locks. It will boot to menu screen. Select factory reset. You will lose all messages and contacts. Backup contacts first to cloud. Then sync back after reset.

I got a missed call from 786 204 4385. Glad I checked here first. Thanks for ppl posting.

(786) 204-4358 just called. Didn't answer it, never do when I don't know the number. Had another "Florida" number yesterday. Blocked them both on my iPhone.

Just got hit with 1 (786) 204-4238.

Called back and disingenuous "all lines are busy" message in response. Luckily, I have pre-paid via T-Mobile. Saved myself.

Got a call from this number also. Glad I checked! Blocked from my iphone. So tired of scammers!!!

786-204-4358 called me. I picked up no answer, hung up. Googled the number and found this. Added to iphone block list.

They just called me about 5 minutes ago hopefully they don't call back later or tomorrow

786-204-4358 - don't answer

They called,I answered, it was Spanish.they hung up

I'm in New Mexico 786 204 4358 earlier 876-328-3824 and also 876-478-5574 Didn't answer, scammers, all

called my cell at 8PM last night-did not answer-I checked my call rejection list and they have called before! Jerks!

Direct your frustration toward the toothless "FCC" which barely does anything and toward cell phone CARRIERS like TMOBILE who refuse to implement wildcard web-based number blocking that you can fine-tune yourself as a consumer. Arrogance and ingorance.

Called me in Missouri

I got the same call from 786-204-4358. People have been complaining about this number since February, I see. If the FTC is going to allow this to continue, time to investigate the FTC's complicity.

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