Has your phone ever rung once, and then gone silent? If so, this may be the most important message you’ll ever read.
The Federal Trade Commission has recently come out and said that there’s a new type of scam that’s sweeping the United States—the “one-ring” cell-phone scam.
Here’s how it works: scammers use pre-programmed auto-dialers to call various phone numbers across the country. They let the phone ring, but just once, so it leaves a “missed call” notification on your cellphone’s dashboard.
They’re betting on you calling back, but if you do, you’re in for a surprise. Although the numbers appear as if they’re from inside of the USA, they’re actually associated with international phone numbers—often in the Caribbean.
So, if you do fall for it and call the number back, you’ll be put on hold by an “operator,” likely one of the scammers, and will rack up MASSIVE international phone fees.
Here’s a full list of the “high potential scam” area codes to watch out for: 268, 284, 473, 664, 649, 767, 809, 829, 849 and 876.
If you’ve been a victim of this scam, you may need to file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Communications Commission, but watch out, because there’s 3 different variations of this scam:
- Scammer calls and hangs up before anyone answers
- Scammer waits for the victim to answer and plays a pre-recorded message of someone in an emergency situation and then hangs up.
- Scammer sends a text message indicating that they are in trouble.
So, in short, DO NOT fall for this scam! Save your wallet and your time by refusing to call these scammers back—and don’t forget to share! Anyone could fall victim to this seemingly innocuous scam, even your family or friends.