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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.

September 22, 2019
I don't know of a site that you can use online to find anything about these callers unless you are willing to pay. I had 15 calls one day this past week and only 1 caller that called twice from the same number. This is ridiculous for everyone. Makes you want to take the phone out and not have one. I don't have a cell.
September 24, 2019
now it's 597-768-2155 and 2157
September 25, 2019
+211 no: ignore
September 28, 2019
A number from Algeria just called me. ‭+213 77 907 281‬
Alex T
September 28, 2019
Was called today by this # +32 3 172 66 74 I dont know why thes people keep bothering me this is the second phone call ive gotten in like a week the other phone number was +5005
September 28, 2019
I just got a 1 ring hang up call at 12:42 pm from 213 77 907 283 My cell phone shows call is from country: Algeria I don't know anyone from there and have not given my number out to anyone I don't know.
September 30, 2019
+212 6 02 76 07 42 From morroco. Scams
September 30, 2019
I've been getting calls from 220-421-8388 and 220-473-6819. Automated and ongoing..
Donbabytaz't u…
October 02, 2019
I blocked the number. Everything is a scam today.
October 11, 2019
lots of calls from all over the world. Block them all (my list is gigantic). Get numerous calls from local numbers - all wanting to sell an extended warranty - robo calls - are these scams too ?
October 14, 2019
775-372-9496 just called my number for the second time this week. I know it is a scammer and did not pick up. They did not leave a message but waited until my message had finished. Have checked out this number and it is on your list of scammers with a long message about this type of robo caller. Never pick up your phone even if you think you know the caller as this time of year they are making millions from innocent people, and wiping out their savings.
cell phone scammers
October 14, 2019
914-144-3115, 630-634-8148, and 206-430-1901 appear to be scammer numbers also
October 15, 2019
They leave a threatening message saying give your social insurance number or you can get in trouble as this matter is going before Magistrates Court etc They mix up Canadian and American laws and information and the number they call from says Switzerland LOL
October 16, 2019
781-476-8099 13:14 and 15:10 EDT. Called back on the second one. "phone not in service"
October 23, 2019
Got one of these calls last night, had the phone in my hand when it came through. Saw right away it was international, rang twice and they hung up. I don't bother answering calls if they are not in my contacts list & if it is important enough then they can leave a message.
HaggisDon't us…
October 23, 2019
getting scam calls from Miami 786 774 5030 add it to your list
October 23, 2019
I got a call by this number ‭+1 (800) 214-7912‬ is it harmful or dangerous?
Don't use your…
October 28, 2019
Has called several days numerous times aleays after another pjone call ends
October 29, 2019
222 39 03 43 58. They gave called a couple times in the past few months. I don't really care about it honestly. Being told to block local numbers does nothing but block your neighbor for the person you pass on the street. Most of the calls are spoofed numbers. I other words they pick a number and send it as their caller ID. So your not blocking. They will use a different number tomorrow.
November 06, 2019
I received today 4 phone calls showing from Switzerland, “one ring” call. Thanks for the information . ‭+41 74 674 70 8‬ ‭+41 74 674 70 9‬ ‭+41 74 674 75 4‬ ‭+41 74 674 77 1‬
November 07, 2019
2042208004 this number keeps on going in to the phone
Working class hero
November 09, 2019
The US government isn't doing enough to protect citizens. We're being targeted from every angle. It's sad.
November 12, 2019
SCAM!! Got a call from 1-434-512-4661 Call originated in VIRGINIA!! ... Indicating it was Telus ... ( a BC mobile Company ) showing that I had a 75.00 credit... shows the interact emblem and link so that I could receive an INTERAC E-Transfer. ... asked for confirmation of information... did not answer or provided any information. My mobile carrier would not do a refund by e-transfer. They would do a refund on my bill and not be asking for my banking details.
November 16, 2019
+1 518-634-6023 Missed call me serval times in a 3 weeks
Moranda Challis
November 19, 2019
I got a person that has my number some odd reason her name is Kiesha I don't her last name. But I don't know why she has my phone. How do I get rid of her I need help. Please and thank you!
November 19, 2019
This is also happing in Canada, over the last week I have received 12 1 rings from Albania all different #'s and 3 from the Caribbean. I am reporting this in Canada to who will listen.
November 20, 2019
Getting a lot of strange numbers with 850 area code, so SICK of these all have been listed as scams, always bad at holidays. 850-204-6609,204-9244, 220-4959 a on an on an on. AGgggggg
November 24, 2019
Yes, I received a call from this number yesterday as well. Left the call to ring out always. Check numbers Who’s calling me online Regards
December 09, 2019
I am based in the UK and I had the same thing. I always check the number before I call back if it is not listed as one on my contacts.
imBeing setup …
December 18, 2019
Recently a good buddy of mine hit me with *76 2. Since then I’ve had several hacks into my personal life. What is this # and why ?
December 30, 2019
I’ve gotten like three calls from them I didn’t even bother calling back lol I just came strait to google to get the number and I saw this
January 07, 2020
Got a call fron 786 538 6155 saying they are from visa ,card was used for 2 charges and to press 1 to authorize 2 to cancel and 3 to speak to someone. Bogus call 786 area code is from Florida Keys and we are in Canada!! Nice try scammer. Hang up and report them
Dxharlieon't u…
January 11, 2020
Area code with this number 160-2937732!didn't answer thought was strange .
January 13, 2020
Some spanish number is doing weird calls. I believe this is whats up. So here os the number check it out. 00 34 642 17 29 45
BC Pacatte
January 16, 2020
Scam likely number 607.145.4364
January 23, 2020
Has anyone recieved calls from this number V1240041080001020466 Thanks rw
January 23, 2020
January 27, 2020
01295134459 number rang me in uk rang for second and went off and have not rang back . More than likely a scam .
January 28, 2020
I answered but hung up on them, is everything going to be ok or should I be worried? I only told them my first name
Russian number
January 29, 2020
I've had a missed call (1 second-long) that appears to fit this bill - +7 940 796 76 18. Could be Russia or Kazakhstan.
+224 623 27 73…
January 29, 2020
I also got a call from +224 623 27 73 88 on whatsapp. I suspect a Pegasus spy call to take control of my phone. Anyone else experienced similar calls on whatsapp?
disabled aunt
January 29, 2020
206-809-6349 just call me but ring once and I knew it was a scam.I read everything on FTC about my safety..
February 03, 2020
T received a bill for $88.88 I have just had A long conversation with Vodafone, they were not helpful. Even when I said well I will have to call back,as I did not know the number. Which I did, and hung up quickly What the hell is wrong with the phone companies, that they can’t do something,and not play dumb, that they know nothing.
February 06, 2020
+290 93715697 this just called one ring and I 100% it’s a SCAM!
Stefano B
February 06, 2020
Anyone got phone call from ‭(475) 231-2520‬?
February 06, 2020
I have a throwaway tracfone and that leads to nowhere. Good luck scammers.
February 08, 2020
I just got a one-ring call on my smartphone at about 4:23 pm ET. The info said +7 954 294-99-01 Russia I know no one in Russia. I googled the number, came here, and found out about the one-call scam.
andy H.
February 14, 2020
Today I get a one ring call from 882 13 63 6802, believe it is a scam.
February 14, 2020
607-625-1444 one ring scam 2/14/20 1:36PM
February 17, 2020
Harassing unwanted multiple text messages on 02-16-2020 and 02-17-2020.