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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.


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The purpose of this blog and its comments section is to inform readers about Federal Trade Commission activity, and share information to help them avoid, report, and recover from fraud, scams, and bad business practices. Your thoughts, ideas, and concerns are welcome, and we encourage comments. But keep in mind, this is a moderated blog. We review all comments before they are posted, and we won’t post comments that don’t comply with our commenting policy. We expect commenters to treat each other and the blog writers with respect.

  • We won’t post off-topic comments, repeated identical comments, or comments that include sales pitches or promotions.
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  • We won’t post threats, defamatory statements, or suggestions or encouragement of illegal activity.
  • We won’t post comments that include personal information, like Social Security numbers, account numbers, home addresses, and email addresses. To file a detailed report about a scam, go to

We don't edit comments to remove objectionable content, so please ensure that your comment contains none of the above. The comments posted on this blog become part of the public domain. To protect your privacy and the privacy of other people, please do not include personal information. Opinions in comments that appear in this blog belong to the individuals who expressed them. They do not belong to or represent views of the Federal Trade Commission.

November 12, 2014

In reply to by Rebelrising

I use Mr. Number and there are comments about the caller in question.
March 11, 2017

In reply to by Rebelrising

Unfortunately there is a limit to how many numbers you can auto reject. I've reached mine and still getting slammed with annoying calls
March 16, 2017

In reply to by Rebelrising

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.
Alex Insertlas…
November 20, 2020

In reply to by cao812

I literally just got this call some minutes ago and was tempted to take down the email when I decided against it. Since the number was from Ohio, I googled it and instantly found this. I’m so glad I did, now I got to warn my family and friends about it.
March 11, 2014

In reply to by no robo

Yes, I received a call from this number yesterday as well. No known contact.
March 11, 2014

In reply to by no robo

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.
March 12, 2014

In reply to by no robo

I got that call a few minutes ago at 10:35 pm it's crazy I have kids and it got me mad.
March 13, 2014

In reply to by Joanie

786 204 4358 just called me and my second phone line in less than 10 minutes! Don't answer!
April 19, 2014

In reply to by Masses

786-204-4358 called me, too… anyone at FTC investigating this number?
April 25, 2014

In reply to by AP

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
May 22, 2014

In reply to by What?

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.
80's Computer User
December 03, 2018

In reply to by Me

We used to call this a "WAR DIALER" Watch the movie War Games with Matthew Brodrick to see how it works. I used one in the 80's to find other computers. Basically, it dials one number, waits for the answer, hangs up, then dials the next number up. You just happened to be in the block they were calling.
April 28, 2014

In reply to by AP

I just got called by this number and my twin got it a minute later. I did not answer.
June 20, 2018

In reply to by Mzpurdy

I just got one of those calls claiming that I had won a 100$ voucher. It showed up on my caller id as a new Hampshire number and They wanted my credit card info. I don't think they will get far with trying to rack up my phone bill because I pay month to month with a prepaid card. Also, my bank account is near empty and I don't have any credit cards in my name.
May 15, 2014

In reply to by AP

Same number called ME 4 X'S, IT'S 10:30 at night!!! IS ANYONE CHARGING THESE PEOPLE??? Any updates?????
May 31, 2014

In reply to by NiQ

I keep getting calls from that number and when i answer it a Mexican lady comes on at starts yelling at me in spanish. I don't know what she is saying.
June 01, 2014

In reply to by NiQ

They can't be charged. The FTC doesn't have jurisdiction outside of the United States and it's too minor of a crime to justify the huge cost of asking their home country to extradite them for trial.
June 23, 2014

In reply to by Douglas

The numbers are out of FLorida and last time I checked was still in the US
April 23, 2014

In reply to by Masses

Yea me too, sane number in ohio and somone who works with me ten sec later!!!!!
gorgeous granny
April 24, 2014

In reply to by maddog

They're calling Long Island, NY tonight. Spreading the wealth, I guess.
May 10, 2014

In reply to by Masses

i just changed my number 4 days ago and they called me today at 5:27pm EST
March 19, 2014

In reply to by no robo

i be getting those call from the same number all the time. i never answer. i get it every week
March 26, 2014

In reply to by no robo

I hate this caller! Idk who it is but it is freaky how many people gt called from this #
March 27, 2014

In reply to by no robo

Just got a call from this number too and it's midnight! Thought it could be emergency but decided not to answer and Google number. Luckily there's tons of posts on it. I'm going to have to put them on my reject list and pass info on to everyone I know.
June 06, 2014

In reply to by sunflower

it seems they are targeting cell numbers. If its a number that I don't trust I will return the call through my Google voice number, which has a balance of $0.00 so I'll never be charged for the call.
just called
March 29, 2014

In reply to by no robo

The same number 786-204-4358 just called me as well. I looked and the area code is from the Miami area. I don't know anyone from Florida so I decided to look it up before calling back. I'm glad I did.
April 02, 2014

In reply to by no robo

Just received a call from 786-204-4358. Answered by mistake. Usually do not answer unknown numbers, but I am expecting one from overseas within the next two days.. it was a recorded message in spanish. I just hung up without waiting to hear what the message was about. 786-204-4358
Dragon lover
April 23, 2014

In reply to by jpleazme

Is there any harm in picking up, but not calling back? I got a call from786-204-4358, and the message was in Spanish.
May 14, 2014

In reply to by Dragon lover

No harm in picking up the call, BUT it will harm your wallet if you call back. Picking up the call allows the robot to confirm the number is legitamate and will attempt limitlessly to call you.
April 08, 2014

In reply to by no robo

Got a call at 8:59pm last night from 786 204 4358. Why is this number not disconnected yet? Its a Florida number!
April 17, 2014

In reply to by ryrycun

That's scary because i got a call from that same number at 8:69 pm as well........ I wasnt in the room thank god. What does it mean? Is there a way to stop it?
random bystander
June 21, 2018

In reply to by turkey feathers

They probably had a mistype. I'm sure they meant 6:59
stop calling
April 18, 2014

In reply to by no robo

I just found a missed call from (786)204-4358 at 5:49pm, Pacific time (I'm in AZ). I added this # to my reject list.
May 04, 2014

In reply to by no robo

I just got the same call from that number.. it was odd because it seemed to be all in spanish.
May 17, 2014

In reply to by no robo

I got a call too at night. I guess it is fake. I didn't call them back after seeing your comment.
Tired of Scam Calls
May 20, 2014

In reply to by no robo

I just got a call from 786-204-4358 and had the same experience as y'all -- they hung up. When I get a call from a number who is not in my contacts, I immediately Google the number. They are almost always scam calls. I'm thankful that there are websites like this where we confirm the calls are scams. As soon as I confirm it is a scam, I enter the number in my contacts and name it "SCAM - DO NOT ANSWER". I have nearly a dozen of them linked together. I didn't know I could block them (need to learn more about my phone!) but will do that next! Thanks to everyone who posted!
Here we go again
May 22, 2014

In reply to by no robo

I just got a call from this number. Last time i was receiving calls from some idiot in Texas telling me he was going to kill me, explained where i lived,my family's the same soft ware collection agencies use that they somehow get.
May 26, 2014

In reply to by no robo

786-204-4358 just called my cell phone last week and was a recording in Spanish so I just hung up. Didn't know about the scam so I'm glad I didn't care to call back.
smh scammers!!!
August 16, 2014

In reply to by annoyed

I got the same call a few minutes ago..when the mexican lady stopped her spanish-speaking gibberish i said,"no habla espanol" lmfao and "it?" Hung up..i get calls from crazy numbers all the time..just ignore it or block it. Dont fret abt it..
May 29, 2014

In reply to by no robo

Ya, I just got the same one. I figured it could be one of my friends' iphones. They usually have weird numbers. I called back and got a dial tone instead of a recording.
June 03, 2014

In reply to by no robo

Just got a call from that same 786 number. Three+ months after the op! Glad the Feds are doing such a good job stopping this.
June 06, 2014

In reply to by rfish

they can't really block them. at&t and other international trunk providers could block them but they get a percentage on all international calls.
June 10, 2014

In reply to by no robo

This number just called me too. Almost called back but checked google first. Found this. Thanks.