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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.
  • We won’t post comments that include vulgar messages, personal attacks by name, or offensive terms that target specific people or groups.
  • 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.

May 15, 2018
This number calls several times a day and never says a word! It's so frustrating because I'm working but no matter what, they won't stop. I've been on the do not call list for years. The number of which I'm certain is a scam is 682-499-9878 Caller ID Says KIDS WISH NTWRK
doing things
May 18, 2018
Just did a trace and found location, of course it’s a little crime to the FTC or FBI so I was told to handle it myself. So I will keep watching the news.
May 28, 2018
You can google the area code or the whole number for some type clue re the caller.
May 28, 2018
I’ve got 30+ missed calls from this number today
June 05, 2018
I got a phone call from Rusia hahaha I do not know anybody from Rusia ‭+7 (954) 400-01-44‬
June 07, 2018
I've got a missed call from +7803061580. They left a message with robot voice: call back to number 703061657 or you'll be arested (something like that). Sould I call to police?
June 12, 2018
On Tuesday, June 12, 2018 pm at 11:03 pm EDT I got the one ring call from Morocco phone +212 6 61 13 27 86. I am blocking it, of course.
Don't use your…
June 15, 2018
+504 9882-5273 keeps calling repeatedly from Honduras, at least that is what my caller is says.
June 18, 2018
I get local numbers over and over with no one responding the I either get a call from them and I get someone who asks why I keep calling or I call and they say I keep calling them... If I block number I get the next number calling me
June 18, 2018
I get local numbers over and over with no one responding at times someone will answer and they say the same thing 'you keep calling me'. If I block number I get the next number calling
June 20, 2018
I just got a call from 1-551-35
June 25, 2018
I would like to start a class action law suit against the telephone companies who do not cutoff the phone numbers of the scammers. Without the phone service these types of scams with dry up.
June 30, 2018
Same thing called wrong once hung up
July 04, 2018
I'm in Australia and got a one-ring call in the middle of the night from a phone number that originated in Latvia. The number was +37122853022 (displayed on my mobile phone as +371 22 853 022 )
July 09, 2018
Recently my husband and I were scammed over the phone when it was supposed to be a local number we were calling. According to a detective these people in India and different counties are using our local satellites and pinging their numbers from there so it seems like we are getting local calls and we can really take them.
July 11, 2018
‭Someone from +40 819 554 58‬ Is calling me from Romania! I googled this number but was unable to find any information. How to stop all these robo and unwanted solicitation calls?
July 20, 2018
I get as many as 10 phone calls a day from this number from very early morning and all day.V719-161-613. Very annoying. I don't answer them, I screen my calls, but it is getting old. I would like to get it stopped and I don't know how.
July 23, 2018
Many of these scammers use programs like Skype where they can enter any number they wish to show as the caller-id number. The Do Not Call list is also a joke because the only times I get these scam calls is after I sign up for the Do Not Call list. They use the list as a way of getting numbers to call. The list is only good for companies that obey the law and check it before calling. It won't stop the scam calls, it just helps them to find numbers.
July 23, 2018
914-269-4129 is a scam company of calling card sale.
July 24, 2018
Has anyone gotten a call from the number 352-045-2641? They have called 3X this morning!
July 26, 2018
...hello there I am new. I think I got scammed. Lots of phone numbers and emails. But I learned my life own lessons. I hope I never go through this again. I feel so embarrassed about this situation... but thanks reading these emails I feel better.
August 09, 2018
I get more calls from these random numbers everyday, so much so I stopped answering my phone. It's getting ridiculous. I just say if it's important they will leave a message. I'm sure they trying to either scan your phone by calling you or they hoping your voicemail states who you are so they can steal your information. By all means try it, fix my credit, you wanna be me, pay my student loans while you're at it.
wordly senior
August 13, 2018
Better advice is don't call back any number you don't know. If it's a spammer, there's a very good chance it's a fake number that belongs to some poor person who didn't make the call, and everyone is calling back cursing at him/her for no reason.
August 26, 2018
‭+212 6 80 21 63 05‬ They are at it again. Got a missed one from Morroco last night.
September 03, 2018
I saw the missed call and I called back, I want to ask, besides the huge bill I got, can they also get access to my apps and stored documents on my phone?
Mimi in Tampa
September 05, 2018
Call from 646 513 0022 at 2:38 in the morning and when I called the number the recording said "hello friend, please leave a message". I'm concerned now that they will try to bill me. I called back six times since I was so annoyed!
Irish MikeDon'…
September 08, 2018
They may have changed their tactics. I received a call on my land line from 708 876 8174. Caller ID showed "SOFTWARE ARCHIT". Naturally I did not answer.
alfredo lopez
September 12, 2018
I just got a call from a 541 number and I’m just a minor and he was talking about me getting a car
September 23, 2018
+7 954 078-61-48 how can i know if this number will hack my phine because i answer the call
Kent State
September 28, 2018
Looks like they added me to their list. I received a call from +242 8 0111 9950, which my phone detected was from the Congo. Needless to say, I didn't answer.
September 28, 2018
I got a call this morning. My phone tells me where the call came from. It only rang once it said Republic of the Congo.
Barney fife
September 28, 2018
I got a call from 505 437 5366 I can get up to $365.00 off my mortgage I don't a house how did they get my number ? It was a text message
October 04, 2018
Getting such calls from 1-767-316-2495 I even picked up one of the calls. It was hung up immediately.
October 05, 2018
this number called me an hour ago which is puzzling me as my cell number is a uk cell.i am only visiting the us briefly
October 11, 2018
I am getting at least 10 calls a day with my area code and the prefix 810 and 811 numbers. I made the mistake of calling it back. Then I became the victim of a scam. I think the two things are connected and it scares me. It’s also annoying to get that many calls. Blocking the number doesn’t help. They just use a new number. Why is also on my mind. Why are people getting these calls ?
Concerned Citizen
November 26, 2018
Number: +1 (320) 390-3566 Category: IRS TAX SCAM Voicemails say, IRS criminal division is calling and that "you will be taken 'under' custody by the local cops as there are 4 serious allegations 'pressed' against your name unless you call 360-390-5445." Bad English indicates non-English speakers created the script. Related Numbers: 360-390-5445 Called From: 4 numbers. Call type: IRS TAX SCAM. Fraudulent Scam Warning: THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT DOES NOT CALL TO NOTIFY YOU OF CRIMINAL CHARGES. DO NOT PROVIDE YOUR FINANCIAL INFORMATION OVER THE PHONE. This is likely an overseas operation using a VOIP phone number and robocall automation. Do not answer calls from numbers you do not recognize. Calls and voicemails from 360-390-5445 began on 11/13/18.
November 29, 2018
Been getting lots of Scams call from 1 615 235 0537 and a Turkey Number: 90 114 58607 They hang up when you call back that number is not working.
December 05, 2018
Thank you for this valuable information. :)
December 10, 2018
I let call go to answering machine when I checked message I ta press 1 to accept the charges so if you answer don't press 1
January 11, 2019
I got a voicemail from a North Korea number today - 85018003323689. The voicemail is in Korean (or Chinese, I've no idea) - should I report it somehow? it has to be some kind of scam... didn't try calling the number back
January 13, 2019
I live in Slovenia/Europe. My number is not public. First, the whole weekend I got dozens of text messagas relating Uber and verifying login to Uber (and Uber does not perform its services in Slovenia!!), and when I blocked text messages, I began to get calls from US phone numbers (Georgia, New Mexico). I needed to block every call from US (+1 ***) to have a piecefull night. Luckely, calls from US are not everyday's routine for me, so I checked the text messages and phone numbers on internet. I found, that they are all relateted to some kind of criminal. It is a global issue not only US issue. Be fine all!
January 29, 2019
i just got a called from number 0230 and i live in Pakistan it in neither any city code nor any emergency number. and how can someone from outside the country call me.
February 05, 2019
+1 400-331-134 got a call from this number
February 09, 2019
‭00 232 21 74 95 10‬ Called today and immediately hung up
February 12, 2019
I have been getting several scam phone calls; notice they always only show the State's Name (i.e. - Massachusetts or Louisiana, etc.), and when I look at my phone before swiping it open, it shows a trail number behind it. For example, one scam number is: (337) 376-5903, but if I DON'T swipe my phone open and look to see what activity on the screen it shows has come into my phone, the number shows this: (337) 376-5903;rn=+1225772 I've Googled this type of numbering on my phone and computer, and have not, as of yet, found the result stating in detail what or who these scammers are and where they are from. Other recent numbers incoming are: (337) 555-0155 and (888) 202-4252. Before I swipe open my phone, both numbers are followed by the same trail symbols and numbers, above. What does anyone think their angle is? (Also, I initially called the (337) 376-5903 number, and a guy answered and giggled under his breath and told me he is a car salesman... I hung up, then)
February 14, 2019
Years ago, I had my landline carrier, At&T, block my home phone from receiving or sending any calls outside the USA. I have not rec'd any charges. I did personally talk w/a "live" person to request this free action. I get about 3 scam calls, daily, & don't think any have been outside the US. I never answer & they leave no msgs. I bought a call blocker to add to my initial 250 provided by my carrier, which has to be almost full. I usually only block a nr if they call twice. Those on Caller ID that say "Invalid Nr." never call back w the same nr . Most scammer nrs have my 478 Area Code. I Google the nrs & block if 800 Notes or another website give negative comments.
March 06, 2019
Got a call 3-532-254-5458 all they said was a last name for the household and hung up. Wonder if it's a variant of this scam (who will call back based on a call display anymore!) as they know just a bit about you. Was to a landline but who knows if they know. Normally do not pick these up - have to keep the guard up.
March 17, 2019
In the last week, I have received several calls from 375449943286 and 375299015475. All these calls have been between 3 and 5 in the morning. I do not answer or call back, but they are very disconcerting when they wake you up from a deep sleep. I hope these scams are being investigated.
March 17, 2019
Three weeks ago I received a call and a voice message on my cell phone from (866)332-1219. It was supposedly from the Social Security Administration, that they had suspended my SS# because of suspicious activity. If I wanted more information to press 1. Beware. The Social Security Administration told me they wouldn't contact you by phone. It's all done by US mail.
Curious George
March 18, 2019
I know this is an old blog, but I see a couple of more recent updates in it. So I am hoping that someone can answer me a question. I understand that calling the phone number is halfway across the world can cost a large amount of money, and I already take precautions so that does not happen in my household. However, I am confused as to who actually profits from this? The charges would go to the telephone provider, not the scammer. So what does the scammer have to benefit by? I know this is an old blog, but I see a couple of more recent updates in it. So I am hoping that someone can answer me a question. I understand that calling the phone numbers halfway across the world can cost a large amount of money, and I already take precautions so that does not happen in my household. However, I am confused as to who actually profits from this? The charges would go to the telephone provider, not the scammer. So what does the scammer have to benefit by?