Skip to main content

(View or share the YouTube version of this video.)


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.


It is your choice whether to submit a comment. If you do, you must create a user name, or we will not post your comment. The Federal Trade Commission Act authorizes this information collection for purposes of managing online comments. Comments and user names are part of the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) public records system, and user names also are part of the FTC’s computer user records system. We may routinely use these records as described in the FTC’s Privacy Act system notices. For more information on how the FTC handles information that we collect, please read our privacy policy.

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.

August 28, 2020
I just received a phone call from 009-090-3030. It was an automated call and stated the call was made by Amazon . com. Said a purchase was made in the amount of $1004.00. Stated the purchase was suspicious and a block was being put on the account. Stated to press 1 for this or that (I don't remember) or press 2 to do something else. I just let the automated call disconnect. Our number is on the Federal and State No Call list.
August 28, 2020
I’m very upset with robocalls, I complained about that but it doesn’t stop, no benefit to block the numbers because they call from another number over and over again for the same purpose. I’m fade up with telemarketers. Please help me thank you.
September 03, 2020
Donpet Australia
September 24, 2020
Received a call listed as +1 (318) 88 but was not able to answer and fortunately did not call back as I live in Australia and did not recognise this number from the USA. Thanks for posting this scam info - will be on the lookout for similar events here and warn others.
September 29, 2020
+1 (701) 248-8697 Number rang once no message
October 13, 2020
Just received a call from a number that appeared exactly like this on my cellphone: 257 69 74 4329. It sounded like a woman crying. I said hello several times and they hung up. When I Googled the number it said it was out of the country and was linked to be a scam.
November 03, 2020
Someone sent Covid-19 spam from +1 (505) 377-0934.
November 09, 2020
The warranty company has been calling us all year. We’ve pressed the number to be removed, block their numbers and they continue to harass my husband and I! He has a severe heart condition and they upset him every time. Today this is the number +1 (256) 297-4199. The woman with an Asian accent said she couldn’t give me the name of their company and that I had to give her the year, make and model of My car to be transferred to a “warranty specialist”. This has been going on daily for the past two weeks! How can we a formal complaint?
November 20, 2020
Some one called my phone number from 281-816-6704 and hanged up on me. I called back and the guy was rude and asking my name to confirm. I asked him not to call me back.
November 21, 2020
I got three calls in 20 minutes on 11/20/20. 2 numbers from St Georges, Grenada, Grenada and one all run together from Etowah, TN. All 1-2 rings. In checking I ended up here. These people really tick me off. I am a police officer and still nothing I can really do about it either.
November 30, 2020
978-723-1318, 978-778-6042 called and act like they are social security services, when i asked for a call back number or name she hung up
December 03, 2020
1-865-283-3037 calls periodically saying we need 388.00 now or it will be taken from your account. Its a female voice, so I hung on till a man answered and I gave him a royal piece of my mind.
December 03, 2020
They're at it again. They claim to be the Social Security Dept. and ask for your name. When you challenge them, they hang up. 321 351 7294
December 14, 2020
V21409212100086 number called me
December 30, 2020
Received two calls this morning at 8:05 and 8:58 am. The calls came from 37322207855 and 37322200773. The country of origin appeared as “Moldova”.
December 30, 2020
Had one from Latvia call me twice within an hour in the middle of the night: ‭011 371 2 6325423‬
January 02, 2021
What if they text you after the missed call? I texted back “How can I help you”
January 03, 2021
They call my landline and leave gibberish voice messages in another language.
Abhishek mishra
January 05, 2021
+1(331)-239-7926 This is scammer whtsapp no... Please block it
Noah FentzDon'…
February 11, 2021
recvd. several calls asking "Did you just call me from this number" how does this scam work??
September 01, 2021

In reply to by Noah FentzDon'…

Someone probably spoofed your phone number by chance, then the person they called saw your number in their caller ID. I get calls all the time from numbers in my state I don't recognize, usually from only one or two towns. When I look them up, it's just random people, but it happens so frequently and never leave a message so I know they're fakes.
February 25, 2021
One ring scammers from Morocco +212 6 21 79 80 79
March 03, 2021
I just received one ring from 272-205-7654..If the FTC knows this, why not trace the numbers to owners and shut them down?
March 11, 2021
Recieved a call from 1-260-235-6964 saying my SS# was suspended do to suspicious activity. Knew that wasn't right. Reported , online as soon as I hung up.
March 23, 2021
Called my sprint up-relay number Returned call ask for me, then hung ip relay From +1 (267) 857-1287
April 09, 2021
Received a call from 8623367435, but couldn't get to the phone. It's a scam, I looked it up, don't answer it. If you pick answer the call or call the number back, they keep you on the phone to rack up charges. The article I read states the scam calls are coming in from the Caribbean and surrounding areas. I typed in "who called me from 862-336-7435" in the search bar. This is the info provided.
Don't Reynard …
April 12, 2021
786-688-5432 a scam re mcafee antivirus
April 15, 2021
I keep getting calls from 6-038-686-0400??? Very strange number and they come in succession of 3 calls. Anyone else getting these? I don’t return the call to any of them, but this number is odd
April 21, 2021
Starting about 7:30 am till now (4:30 pm) I've had 17 call. They are starting with country code 3
May 26, 2021
Another one of those really annoying calls, pretending to do a short survey after being told "not interested". said she was calling about life insurance, and I told her I neither need nor want life insurance, she proceeded to ask if I could afford £15...when told it is not about affordability, it's about me not needing money when I'm dead, she spoke over me until I hung up and blocked her. No doubt some nuisance will call and annoy me on another number tomorrow!
June 10, 2021
Ok this number that called me started with a V . I guess they think we are idiots I would not answer a number like that are call it back the number that came up on my cell phone totally ridiculous V60916415200524112... The three dots just kill me.
Taj use your e…
June 11, 2021
+257 71 91 96 66, two rings and discounted, I have now blocked and removed from list.
June 15, 2021
I received a suspicious call at 9:31PM, I never knew that a telephone contains too many numbers, as this one: 522225225987, only I can hear a background noises, as doing something, never a message was left, I tried to search on white pages, they could not locate that number. I cannot even blocked because it is not shown on my cell id. Perhaps you can investigate. Thank you
June 28, 2021
This number has been calling my phone for more than 3 years. They don't leave any messages. I do not answer nor do I call them back.
July 08, 2021
915 995 2548 855 806 8265 scam scam scam! don't pick up just ignore
July 13, 2021
I just received a call from 1.541.919.9736 they did not leave a message. I do not know this number and I did not answer this call.
July 13, 2021
These numbers just called three times on JULY 13, 2021. All of the these numbers just once and hung up (615) 591-6427 (615) 559-6994 (615) 459-4265 I didn't answer. Scam!
Muhammad kashi…
August 11, 2021
I am frequently receiving one ring call from +683xxxxxxx. I always block these numbers but every time receiving from new number.
August 11, 2021
this number is 301-244-9607, they called me several times and they didn't put a message. When you tried to call them itis calosed
August 11, 2021
Got a ONE RING call from 1 828-900-1729. Definitely did not call it back. They...(of course)...didn't leave message. I blocked it from my phone right away.
Ramblin Jimmy
August 13, 2021
Just got a call from"AMAZON" They say my card has been charged $121.99 to renew my Prime and call 725-237-2594 to cancel.....I think its a scam????
September 01, 2021

In reply to by Ramblin Jimmy

If you do have a card listed as a payment method with Amazon, look up Amazon's customer service number on the website and call them directly to ask about it instead of trusting a number you hear on a voicemail
Jo in Tacoma
August 17, 2021
The call came in on my work phone from 606-721-7367 asking me to call back at 760-896-2681 regarding my past due student loan but he can fix it due to the Biden Student Loan Relief Act - #1: I don't have any students loans - never did; #2: It hasn't passed yet - pretty sure it must be a scam. I did not call back.
August 18, 2021
I receive a call from this number. I answered, there was silence for about five seconds, and then the caller disconnected.
August 19, 2021
I received a call from 770-352-1581 do anyone know who this is
Any one else?
August 22, 2021
I've received a voicemail from 423 747 5114 stating press 1. To speak to a federal agent. If not heard from action will be taken Voice sound like automation
August 24, 2021
9169398750 is a threatening call about a felony and identity theft
August 24, 2021
I keep getting a call from 397253336985. this is exactly how it shows up on caller ID. I never answer it. No messages are ever left. I get called once a day...and sometimes more. Does anyone know what this is? I am sure it is a scam but cannot find anything on the internet about it.
August 25, 2021
I am so very feed up in these darn telemarketer snooping in to someone business. They know that they are scammer or lazy telemarketer and wants to harass people . Why don't they read the good book The bible. So they can for give this lies that they tell. Repost these telemarketers.
August 25, 2021
By the way I feel this number is un safe 419-821-2266 . I felt that she is nothing but a liar,