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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.

February 18, 2020
1-443-222-9641 Amelia smith has papers to serve me! Scam
February 21, 2020
I got a phone number calling me 00 222 22 61 95 76
February 21, 2020
Has anyone rec'd call from 667-218-2017? Read about the one ring scam but not certain. Outgoing msg is SSA, then it hangs up.
February 24, 2020
I'm from the Philippines and I've received calls from this numbers: 0282464666 & 0282921711
February 25, 2020
Just block the number like I do. Simple answer to a simple problem.
February 26, 2020
Someone called and knew my name from 8598781619
February 26, 2020
Got a phone call which I thought was from my credit union because it showed AFCU America First Credit Union with a 435-291-4363. But it turned out it was about Medicaid and Medicare. What has my credit union have anything to do with these two? I hung up. I have no idea what they were after
Chee zit
July 28, 2020

In reply to by quistberg

I got a call from this number just now, but I did not answer the phone. 435-291-4363
March 03, 2020
Scammers pretending to be social security administration
Springfield Mi…
March 06, 2020
I had a voice mail asking me to call back a lady from capital one to discuss a lower interest rate. The reason I got suspicious was that she told me not to call Capital One directly just the phone number she has listed in the voicemail it didn’t sound right. The phone number she called from looks like it was a US phone number(1-302-207-2210) but When I look it up all that comes up are scam warnings. This was true as well for the number she asked me to call her at.(1800-258-6019)
March 06, 2020
844-220-2561 scam
Don't use your…
March 09, 2020
I got 20 calls in 2 hours the number is 309-247-8015 use different last four numbers and its annoying
March 09, 2020
I am receiving calls from 0-536-3726 multiple times a day on my landline number. I am unable to block this through my phone carrier since it doesn't have a full phone number. I am unable to search it as well. I'd like to know how to deal with this now. All these calls are making me want to get rid of my phone.
alan hack
March 09, 2020
+370 (664) 94 986 I dont know who call me this phone number
March 10, 2020
1-805-236-2806 Is a Social Security Scam...Beware
March 17, 2020
A new one is +373 (22) 44-08-45 Just got a call and I am a British resident.
March 18, 2020
+33 825 930 204 This number call me today one call
Pippa 1971
April 20, 2020
I have been getting the "one call" from several numbers for a week now. All with area code +232, which comes up as from Mauritania. I was duped once when I called them back and lost $40 worth of credit in seconds. Don't pick up. It's annoying, but it's not worth losing credit over.
April 27, 2020
‭+1 (262) 214-0664‬ I got 3 calls from this number, nd when I answered, the call ended. Do i need to worry?
April 27, 2020
I keep getting a phone call from this number about my router box on my landline phone number and they asked me to press 1, to which I refused the number is 01237904149
May 05, 2020
551-234-0332 Posing as quickbooks
A helper.
May 09, 2020
243, 268 also. Beware!
May 12, 2020
This number +228 98 14 08 62 just called me they let it ring once than hung up and it says the number is from togo I didn't call back
James Anderson
May 14, 2020
I just got a call from 1-800-278-5097 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 quickbooks support number 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!
May 18, 2020
Hello all, I received a call from the following number on 5/18/20 @12.42 p.m As follows: V5181241140016557265 via land line I searched but I also noticed it was from Cleveland, GA. With another number that is normal: 706-493-9328 any one ever seen anything like this I feel I should report it if need be I have not answered the call thanks in advance
Number searching
June 04, 2020
This number called ‭+41 42 512 81 0‬ google says it’s a Switzerland phone number
June 17, 2020
I got a one-ring phonecall from 2 numbers ... First +22226575364 and then +22226551251
June 28, 2020
Gosh! I had so many calls from this number! And I don’t understand why they kept calling? I already block their first call but still keep calling me!!!!! We should report this to the authorities! Scammers!
July 05, 2020
+994 51 549 29 05 Numerous attempts to call me never more than 2 rings ive fallen victim before to a number from Burkino faso so have since wised up this is upto a £300 !!!! Pound charge if call is returned BEWARE
July 06, 2020
got a call today from 00403901309 saying you got a DHL parcel waiting to collect. if yes please press 1 . and then it was on Chinese language i think they tried to say the same thing but i hang up straight away i think its a scam. i still getting calls from other numbers i dont usually pick them up. be careful.
July 06, 2020
this one didnt' call me, instead - it texted me saying "Your Chase Debit Card has been restricted. Please call 866-258-0448." But the text is coming from 814-612-3849. What's the deal? I'm calling my bank now, which is not Chase.
Jacko don't us…
July 07, 2020
I keep getting calls from variations of this number 1 407 559 6963l 14075596512 140755355404. I do not answer because I have no idea who its from. Now its the best policy to have as I know there are all kinds of scams. I get them on my home phone too and I just go the the block mode on cell and hope it blocks them out. They are notorious for using all kinds of numbers but best policy is the one I have wait and see if they leave a voice mail if not just block it and you cant go wrong just they will call more but if you do not pick up there is no scam to begin with. Its sad we have to be this way but it just is what it is.
July 15, 2020
receiving threatening's call from 4373446048 :4373443525;4373444658;4373444360
Davidd ,Don't…
July 15, 2020
Getting lots of cell calls from 701 ,369 0459 ,this is not a Canadian phone number ,
July 16, 2020
Is anyone getting calls from 850- 752-0725. I just got one and they left a message to call back. It says Jay, Florida. I blocked the number.
July 17, 2020
i remember that the number had +444 at the beginning
July 29, 2020
00 41 74 780 71 2 This switzerland number keeps calling me. I blocked the number but I’m still getting calls from it
August 03, 2020
I missed a call from 1-210-942-1829 this afternoon. I an automated voicemail said some illegal action had done on my social number and urged me to call back as a warrant had been issued for my arrest and could be avoided by calling back at the missed number.
August 06, 2020
I keep getting calls from 209 area code. I do not answer them but block them right away. Problem is they keep changing the last four numbers. They call 2-4 or so times a day. This annoying. Wish I knew how to totally stop these calls.
August 09, 2020
I getting what's app msg from this numbers (226)777-9308 hello - I know u how r u and more . First msg I got with this number +1(226)286-0112 I blocked it after half n hour I got msg with +1(226)887-7500 hi how much number u will block he said .then I more time I blocked then after half hour +1(519)398-1280 why r blocking I said who r much time u will block I will change number and ties u .know what should I do
August 12, 2020
I received a message from cellphone number 073 657 9624 saying i won a million rand and a brand new polo , to claim i should call lisa on 063 235 0444.
August 13, 2020
just received while at work this call left voice message about wanting my social secuirty number and blocking it. First do not have anyone i know in FLORIDA. NEXT THIS IS A SCAM BLOCKED IT OFF PHONE. DID NOT CALL THEM BACK SCAM,SCAM,SCAM!!!
August 17, 2020
August 18, 2020
I just received a text message from 205-293-7324 and they said they were my boss. And that she needed me to run an errand for her to get some google play gift cards at a local store. It is not my boss’ cell phone number. Scary that they are now texting too.
Coldwell Banke…
August 18, 2020
The number 1-347-721-9021 keeps calling my office and hanging up the phone. I would like to it to stop. I am the receptionist and it is very busy at our office.
Not Again
August 19, 2020
0011698284069 No message, one ring, hangs up.
California Mike
August 20, 2020
Received a call from 813-359-9731 saying a suspicious charge showed up on my credit card. Suspected scam since no mention of a card company was made and they requested a call back. I deleted the message.
August 21, 2020
(224) 242-9598 - Scam, says they are with the Social Security office...Scam, they would not have a foreigner answering the phones, unable to say Social Security. They either don't leave a full message and or, they say to calk back before legal proceedings are filed. Wrong...tell them that this is a scam and to delete your number. The Social Security office would NOT call like this; you will get a letter in the mail first, and they give you a reference as to why the mail came and, give you time to reply; either by mail and or, a legitimate SS office phone number.
August 24, 2020
got this call 2 times +8295940303