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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 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.

011-27105008494 calls me right after 271-050-08494...I never answer but the calls come in 2 or 3 times a day for the last 2weeks...what the heck

I got a call from 786-204-4358. I never answer calls from strange numbers. If it is important, they will leave a message or text me. I do hope these scammers get their day in court.

Scary. I just got one of these calls tonight. Thankfully I didn't call back.

Getting calls from 215 392 6278 everyday, I dialed back and got a message, person not available, im going to try this: forward my calls to a very interesting number, when they call, theres a nice suprise.

7862044358 called. No message. Didn't answer

go a missed call from this number 786-204-4358 and found myself on this page

904 5726076 and with other numberss they call me 12 pm they are krazy

This number just called me and I live in Orange County California.

Getting several calls a week on my business phone, (for the last 2-3 months now), from phone numbers in different states Washington, California, Colorado, New York...
I never answered because the calls are from out of my state. However they leave a very long VM. Sometimes it would be in Canadian French, sometimes in Portuguese (asked a few friends who helped me assess the language) talking about some kind of contest. Lately, the VM plays the same recorded music without any person speaking. I keep putting the numbers in my block list but a few days later the same call comes from a different number and state!
I did not read anybody else reporting this kind of scam but it cannot be just me.

I'm getting annoying calls from different numbers but all of them starts with the same area cod and the first 3 digests of my cell phone number, exactly my cell number but the last 4 digests are different.
For example (571) 383-xxxx the xxxx changes so I blocked so many number but I end up getting phone calls from different last 4 digests. When I answer a recording of a lady speaks Spanish. If I press 1 it ends the call, if I press 2 someone will Answer me in Spanish if I speak English they end the call. And when I call back someone answers the phone and they don't know anything about the Call.
I don't know how I can stop this. I called AT&T, they said change you phone number and this is not an option for me.

If you have MetroPCS, they have an app called "Metro Block It". It's a Privacy Star app (which some people have mentioned), but MetroPCS includes it in their package. You can block calls and texts you don't like, you have it automatically block calls that come up "Unknown" or "Restricted" and it prowls sites like this one and blocks any number reported to be a "scammer" automatically. Interestingly, right in the app, if you click on a number, it will generate a simple form you can fill out.. check a few boxes and leave a comment if you want, which will then report the number, the time, where it came from, as well as the form you made, strait to the FTC Consumer Complaint line, in one simple step. All you do is press send. So, in a way, using the app also helps others.

You all need to get the word out to everyone you know. Don't answer the phone or call back. You can't be nice to the people who pick up the phone. Tell them plain! The DNC list doesn't stop criminals. People put yourself on the DNA list. Please figure out what that means.

I have been getting calls 2 and 3 times a day all in spanish. The first 6 digits are the same as my phone and the last 4 are always diffrent so its hard to block. Called my cellphone company and the local police and neither could help me. I don't understand spanish but I pushed 1 and was taken to a live operator and I told them to stick it where the sun doesn't shine. They even cused me out in English. I am going crazy. How can this stopped and them locked up
up???? How can this be fixed??

text them back - i am deaf and mute and can only text, text me, if important

I get random calls from (786)204-4358 and (866)330-9237. This has been going on for many weeks. The 786# shows as a Florida call and when answered has a message in Spanish. The 866# just calls and has dead air. They're repetitive. Sometimes as many as 3 a day.

I been getting 5-6 calls a day coming from various area codes,using 555 as a prefix,(334-555-0121),for example.They come from a different area code every time.i just don't answer them,but it is annoying.

This 1(78) number keeps calling me. All that shows up is those 3 numbers. Does anyone know who or what that is?

I have Straight Talk so I doubt I can be charged anything for calling the number back.

Just got a call from this same # in OKla tonight. Glad I looked this up before returning the call.

We just got a call from this same #! Thanks for sharing and posting the info.

I got a call from this 786 number a few minutes ago. Actually I was on another line at the time when my call waiting beeped. I didn't interrupt that call to check the call waiting and eventually the beep stopped. When I got off of the call that I was on, I went to my recent calls on my cell and looked to see who the caller was - it was this 786.204.4358 and said FL USA. I don't know anyone in Florida with that area code and I wasn't about to call it back - I know better than to do that. Instead, I came and got on my laptop and did a Google search for the number and I have since gone into my iPhone and blocked that number so that I won't get another call from it.

But....I've gotten an increasing number of this type of calls on my cell phone in the last month or so - and I'm wondering what in the heck is going on - why am I suddenly getting bombarded with calls that I don't want to receive? Fortunately I'm on a cell plan that has unlimited minutes, but still....

Just got a call and they weren't speaking English. I hung up.

Missed a call from this number and when I called back it said my call could not be completed as dialed and to check the number and try the call again later. Weird. I have an advertisement on a classified ads website that shows my phone number. That must be how they got my number.

i have received a missed call form number 00923032994094. i am posting this number only because it was not available on google search. ppl should know this is a fraud from pakistan

In Texas Here:
2058100708
6104987018
8316618078
2085497876
2085497876
3312561080

Awwww, it's a robo-dialer. I guess me screaming into the phone every time they call isn't doing a thing.

786-2044358 from "FL" "USA".
Please, RUN from tthat. It IS a SCAM.
They call me dozens of times a day, I do not pick up anymore, but twice I called back and only "busy circuits" answer or this # is unavailable.

I just got the robo call on my cell, New Orleans. I never answer a known number, search brought me here.

Sounds like they change their number. Cause I got a call from 1-786-204-4348. If it looks like that number than don't answer it.

Rang - did not pick up. Left no message. This is not the first time I have gotten junk calls from 786-284-4358
. We are on Do Not call list

Got a call from 7862044358 at 7:39 pm. Answered with looking at caller id. Shame on me. What ever was on the other end spoke Spanish so I hung up.

Has called my phone several times around 8 and 9 and 10 EST. I do not answer. The same number called my elderly mothers cell phone at 930 PM. 7862044358 is the number and I realized that I have about 20 missed calls from them.

Called and hung up. Didn't leave a voice message. Hope they catch this crook.

So I just received a 1 ring call from North Korea. the thing that is freaking me out is that the 1st 6 digits are the exact 1st 6 digits of my actual cell phone? anyone heard of this? another lady I work with had the same thing happen but the call was from Mongolia?

If you don't know a number go to telemarketing and spokeo and enter the number. It will show what type of call you made

To the person who is Here's Another this is what I found:
This number is flagged as a telemarketer
786-204-3337
Company: Unknown (According to 1 person)
Type: Telemarketer (According to 5 people)

I just had one of these Rapid Robo Calls as mentioned above! BEWARE OF 786-540-0173

I received 3 calls in a row from 479-222-0942. I called back (because the 3 in a row made me think it was urgent) and a person picked up and hung up.

I just got called by 786-204-4358. Didn't recognize it and found it here. Good thing I checked first. What I don't understand is why the carriers don't block these numbers of known scammers? This number has been in this list since February of 2014. That should be plenty of time for them to get a clue.

Just got a call in the morning from 786-204-4358 from florida. I picked up and the person hung up in about 3 seconds. Later that night the same number called for less than 3 seconds my phone rang. The number hung up to show a missed call and called again 5 seconds later and hung up just as quickly... some people need a new hobby smh

The FTC'S advice on how to deal with this issue is toothless and useless. File an FTC complaint? Against who the scammer or the phone company demanding payment for illegal funds. This is likely why the FTC says "try" to resolve this issue with your phone carrier. Your phone carrier can't be sued easily; you likely are under a binding arbitration clause, so if you try to sue they will likely compel arbitration, then you get to pay for that expense plus the phone bill illegally charged. So our only recourse is to send the FTC a complaint that accomplishes absolutely nothing to remove any illegal fees generated by scammers and collected by phone carriers.

This is great information and all but WHAT is being done to stop these con artists? I'm sick of getting calls from 697 every freaking day.

received on voice mail from 866-976-9501 a scamy message saying "final notice after multiple times to reach you,requiring you to call back in order to cease and desist further action". No names or companies listed

yeah I hate these people I got a call from them and waited until it charged around 10 dollars

Just got a one ring call from (786) 204 4358. I have blocked it

Just got one from (786)204-4358

just called and burnt my cell phone!! will Not turn on!!!

These numbers are not actually in the US even though they are US area codes. They actually connect you to an international number. It's similar to people using Magic Jack to cheat international calls. They have found a way to even make it say a US city on the caller ID. They know how to code and hack obviously. Blocking on the iPhone or android won't help really because they are constantly generating random numbers. I block every call and I get called by a different one every 30 mins or so. I basically just leave my phone on Do Not Disturb or Airplane mode and have wifi on so I can receive texts. Hopefully they lessen and will eventually stop. I have even heard if you call back and stay on for a few seconds, they can get your contacts list. That could explain how they keep getting our phone numbers, but not sure how much truth there is behind that.

I was in our Pic-Pac last night and a fellow walked in and asked if he could borrow a phone to call his mother (he was directing everyone standing in line and the cashiers). The older cashier told him to you the regular phone in the store, and somehow he did not want to use it. The other/younger cashier asked him to tell her the # and she would dial it for him; it started with 786 (that's all I remember) and that surprised me because our entire state does not have a 786 area code. I hope that his intentions were sincere.

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