Has your phone just rang once, suspiciously, and you had the urge to call back?
If you did, it’s possible you may have fallen for what is known as a one ring scam.
The one-ring calls often appear from numbers somewhere in the U.S., including three initial digits that resemble U.S. area codes. But scammers often use international numbers from regions that also begin with 3-digit codes or use spoofing techniques to mask the actual number.
The scam has been around for awhile, but the FCC(USA) have been warning of their increase in the last couple months.
The scam is pretty basic and feeds on the curiosity of individuals, the scammers will setup premium-rate numbers, which have fees associated with them. They’ll entice the victim to call that number back by calling, letting it ring once, and then hanging up.
One-ring calls may appear to be from phone numbers somewhere in the United States, including three initial digits that resemble U.S. area codes. But scammers often use international numbers from regions that also begin with three-digit codes. Scammers may also use spoofing techniques to further mask the number in your caller ID display.
Having the familiar format with an area code adds that extra sugar to get someone to bite.
When the call is returned there usually is silence or music, the fees associated with these calls can go as high as $19.95–on top of the international calling fee charged.
Similar scams have been traced to Grenada (area code 473), Antigua (area code 268), Jamaica (area code 876) and the British Virgin Islands (area code 284)
What can you do to avoid the scam?
1. Don’t answer or return any calls from numbers you don’t recognize.
2. Before calling unfamiliar numbers, check to see if the area code is international.
3. If you do not make international calls, ask your phone company to block outgoing international calls on your line.
4. Always be cautious, even if a number appears authentic.