“One-ring” cell phone scam can ding your wallet

Share This Page

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 don't know this number they hang up 210-775-5385 they call once or twice everyday can you please stop the calls reported to att they gave me this information. Thank you

786-204-4358 just called and hung up... seems they are on the robo again.

I've been getting calls from that number (I'm in Florida) for over a year now. It's in Spanish. I added them to my automatic reject list. If you have an android, you should be able to do the same.

Just wanted to say this 78 whatever number.
it called me. and then an hour later called my girl friend. What does that mean? That they scam call a couple both within an hour..?

they did the same here - called me first and then an hour later, my mom got the phone call. I told her not to pick up. I didn't either and no need to call back. If it's important, people leave messages.

If you guys are on the same plan, your numbers will likely be remarkably similar or listed in the same place. If the calls just run down a list, it'll hit one and then another in a short period of time.

they just called me a minute after calling my wife...everyday sometimes three times a day even at 4 in the morning.

I got the call from that number they hung up after 20 sec I or them didn't say a word

I just got a call from them ... I picked up and they didn't answer. Rather than calling back I googled the number, and am I glad I did! Hopefully this will be a one-shot.

People call a lot of random people and then they keep doing it. Like if they call you their trying to find where you live.

Use a prepaid phone they can't charge any extra minutes, you are probably getting scamed

what do these ppl want? we've been getting these calls for months, i dont see what they are out for. they have ruined the continuity of my office and are calling morning non and nightr on two office cells and my 800nnumber!

Get Android phones and put them on reject list!

You don't need an android phone to block unwanted calls on a cell phone. On an iPhone add the number to your contact list, scroll down and click block. You should also report the number to your service provide (AT&T, Verizon, etc.) to get them blocked there.

Excellent suggestion for the iphone! Thanks

There is an app Privacy Star to block unwanted calls and messages. I do not have to make call to not ever know my number was dialed. A code to block by the provider or log into my account and use the block option there. I use the latter option if the number continues to call or it is someone I do not care to contact me.

Thank you for the tidbit...found it so helpful from a different perspective. Person doesn't call...text instead. Maybe the person is someone who is actually pretending to be close to me...interesting!!!
Thank you!

So with Iphones, you add the scammer number to YOUR CONTACT list to be able to block it. Sounds a bit counter intuitive to me. What if an Iphone user doesn't want to weed through scam numbers when searching their contacts. Boycott anything Apple (except actual apples, they are good for you). Paying for style and chic is so nineties.

You can block numbers on the iphone without adding them to your contact list. When on your list of recent calls just click the "i" in the circle to the right of the number. It will open an info tab, just scroll to the bottom and click block number.

Sorry your crazy rant about Apple is worthless now.

they called my iphone and my work samsung. blocked it on the iphone. no block option on the ol flip phone.

yeah I have this slidy Samsung... can't reject the calls, one good thing about it though is you can set a custom ringtone so I just have a bunch of contacts named things like #spam and #SpamasaurusRex with telemarketer etc #s jammed in and set to No Ring so it won't ring for them

I know this is an old thread. And I TRULY SAY THIS IN JEST, and don't mean to offend all the iPhone uses out there most my friends use them and I say the same thing to them.
iPhones suck. and if I've ruffled any feathers, it was just a joke, its just a phone (and I would expect to be much more than that for that much money), which is why I agreed to spend that much money, open source is the way to go! so,
calm down.
but I agree with the thread a hundred ten percent just rejected number whichever way you can t do not call them

On Iphone, all you have to do is on recent calls press the "i" scroll down to block caller.

Don't need to put their number in yr contact list. Apple iphone has something else called a blocked numbers list, obviously for numbers you want blocked, and they do not appear in yr contact list.....and iPhones are great, I purchased one because I hated all the other ones....apple is very simplistic :)

You people need to do your research because if you just go to recent calls and click the i button at the bottom you can block the number. I don't know why you all are thinking you have to add them to your contacts, learn your facts before you post it on the Internet.

On iPhone, you don't have to add them to a contact list. In your "recent calls" list, tap the "i" in the circle, and scroll down...then click on "block caller" and confirm. No need for them to be in a contact list.

you dont even need to add to contact, go to recent calls hit info next to # scroll down to block this caller

I have an Andriod Phone. I get calls from ramdom number that have my same area code and first three digits. I add each incoming call to the reject list but seems like they change it up and incoming numbers 4 last digits are different therefore having to add them to reject list every single time. it's annoying.

Same. I block any calls that start with my first 6 digits and have it sent to voicemail. Unfortunately my mother's number gets blocked along with the spambots In the voicemail its a Spanish lady speaking Spanish and telling me to press one now

You don'y need to put them in your contact list...lol

You don't have to add the number to your contact list. Go to your recent calls list (from the "Phone" app). Tap on the little "i" on the right side of the number you want blocked. Scroll down to the bottom and tap on "Block this Caller". Simple and fast.

I have an iPhone and I have blocked these numbers, but they are still able to somehow still get through and call me. I just got a call again from just the number "7", and my phone indicated a voicemail. However, as usual, there was no voicemail, only a couple of seconds of silence. On some of the numbers I block, the scammers just roll over to the next number and continue to call. (e.g. 555-555-1234 blocked now calls from 555-555-1235) and each time I block numbers they simply move up another digit or change one or two digits and keep calling. I don't talk to them unless they just robo-call and then I yell at them to atop calling me and take my number off their #€%* list! That usually makes them stop for a few days.i have added my number to the Do Not Call List but apparently that doesn't apply to cell phones.

You can add your cell phone number to the Do Not Call Registry.

If you added your number and you're still getting unwanted calls, they could be from groups that are exempt from the list, or from scammers.

Go to donotcall.gov to add a number and learn about the Registry.

I you have already registered on the FTC's Do Not Call List, and if after 31 days you continue to receive unwanted calls (other than charities, debt collectors, etc.), you can file a complaint with the FTC here:    National Do Not Call Registry                  Not sure if I can paste links (personally, I wouldn't click on one posted by a stranger lol), but I think you could find the page if you searched for "FTC Complaint Assistance." They ask you questions and walk you through the process. Honestly not sure how much help they could be, but it's worth a try. Also, according to the FTC's site, the rules are the same for cell phones and landline after they have been registered on the do not call list.

For IPhone: You don't even have to add them to contacts. Just go to the recent calls list, click on the "i" across from the #, and in the options for that #, choose block caller at the bottom.

I received a call on my Android from this number: (786) 204-4358. I didn’t recognize it at all so I didn’t answer. I’ve been getting scam, telemarketer, “robo-calls” on my land line for years, this is the first time I got one on my mobile phone. I called the number from my land line (BEFORE reading this article - I have since blocked the number on my land and cell phone as well as reporting it to my phone provider in the event that my call is used to rack up additional charges). It turned out to be a Walmart promo, “Hello! Congratulations, you’ve been selected for a $100 Walmart gift card! Press “1″ to be connected with a live agent in order to claim your gift card.” Gimme a freakin’ BREAK! We don’t even HAVE Walmart in New York City.

786-204-4358 called me also. I was golfing while it rang, so I did not pick up, but I did call it back. I'm not sure if it was a scam or not, but I don't know if I should do anything about it.

Same thing with me and I live in Florida too so Idk and how do you do the reject list

We just got this same call from the exact same number! Why can't something be done with these scammers???

I've been having the same bs problem 4 about a year from 8 diff #'s starting w/(609)-222-****. Then when I call back, people are clueless.Y can't the FTC do anything? These calls come after 9PM, multiple times a day, and are using random paying customers #'s to steal $. I recently was a victim of ID theft. Prob cuz these whacks. On top, I havta pay to block these #'s n they jus keep callin from diff #s.

I use Mr. Number and there are comments about the caller in question.

Unfortunately there is a limit to how many numbers you can auto reject. I've reached mine and still getting slammed with annoying calls

the scam is perpetrated, they get your information when you incorporate apps into your cellphone through facebook apps, then your another app requests to view your information. There was a way it was they were doing it. I was working for a company and that company had employees that worked in the industry and they were telling me that it was the latest scam.

Yes, I received a call from this number yesterday as well. No known contact.

No robo,

I just got called by this exact same number. Th hank you for posting. Found this on Google very fast. Hate that we all have to deal with this.

I got that call a few minutes ago at 10:35 pm it's crazy I have kids and it got me mad.

786 204 4358 just called me and my second phone line in less than 10 minutes! Don't answer!

786-204-4358 called me, too… anyone at FTC investigating this number?

i just got a call from that number too, AND I NEVER give out my cell phone number to anyone, I am intrigued where/how these scammers could get my number, that's concerning

Unfortunately, they don't need to "get" your phone number from anywhere. Since phone numbers are a known, predictable format, they just try every possible one.

Pages

Leave a Comment

Comment Policy

Read Our Privacy Act Statement

It is your choice whether to submit a comment. If you do, you must create a user name, or we will not post your comment. The Federal Trade Commission Act authorizes this information collection for purposes of managing online comments. Comments and user names are part of the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) public records system, and user names also are part of the FTC’s computer user records system. We may routinely use these records as described in the FTC’s Privacy Act system notices. For more information on how the FTC handles information that we collect, please read our privacy policy.