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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.

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August 25, 2021
Any1 have Info on this number 0404 337 371 ?
August 26, 2021
A good tip: if you do want to call back a number, first make sure it's not one of the area codes that costs you money, if it's not, and you want them not to get your phone number with caller id, dial "#67" before their phone number, and you will get a new dial tone to dial their number, but it will hide your number from them.
August 26, 2021
I received a text message saying that I won a iPhone 11 pro from Comcast for making 20 successful payments which I do have Xfinity thought Comcast i took the survey then they wanted my name and mailing address and phone number then they asked for my debit card information that's when I stopped i decided to check to see if this was for real i tried to call the number and it was disconnected i almost fell for it this is a scam (224)515-5504
August 26, 2021
I received a text message saying that I won a iPhone 11 pro from Comcast for making 20 successful payments which I do have Xfinity thought Comcast i took the survey then they wanted my name and mailing address and phone number then they asked for my debit card information that's when I stopped i decided to check to see if this was for real i tried to call the number and it was disconnected i almost fell for it this is a scam (224)515-5504
August 30, 2021
I am getting texts from 917-704-8257 informing me that I have been approved for a credit card with an "assigned" amount of credit, etc., etc., etc. I believe I made the mistake of ordering something on Facebook from the Yacht Club (a blouse). I am changing my Facebook password and canceling my bank card. What else can I do to stop these scammers?
August 30, 2021
707 583-0935 claims to be US Customs and Border Patrol.
August 31, 2021
1/9/21 received dropped call from this number and blocked it.
September 01, 2021
What do the "1-ring" scammers get out of just saying nothing when you call back and increasing your phone bill? I never answer or call back a number I don't recognize, if they're legitimate, they'll leave a message.
September 02, 2021
I received a text message from a +524423673860 to call them at 929-946-6566 but i don't recall telling them the info they want to talk to me about. I searched both numbers and nothing came up but the area code was not on your list. Any information on this will be helful thanks.
Fnu Lnu
September 02, 2021
If these area codes listed are in foreign countries, they should be assigned their own country code like the rest of the world. Why are they not? Also many phone companies allow you to block a certain amount of numbers. why not have them allow you to list about 25, 50, or 100 numbers from people who usually call you and have all other calls go to voice mail automatically. You could list family, friends, medical offices, etc. the number people that call you on a regular basis is usually not that high a number. it would be better than trying to block numbers from scammers that change their number all the time
September 02, 2021
On my iPhone there’s an option under Settings -> Phone -> Silence Unknown Callers The phone doesn’t ring if the number is not in one’s contacts. This is useful as spammers use different numbers to get round being blocked. At least their call doesn’t disturb one before one has the chance to block it.
September 03, 2021
This number called me V903091444000011 Any idea what this is about!
September 06, 2021
Spam - Warranty Scam 772-510-3638 239-734-9847
September 07, 2021
609-949-1566 missed call not registered
September 08, 2021
here is another one to watch out for 223-245-5925
September 21, 2021
940-488-4029 This number is being called from by an individual named Alex. He threaten us by saying that he’s sending someone to hurt. Do not answer the phone.
September 22, 2021
Received call from this number and it played back what I said. +1 (219) 216-6315
Don't use your…
November 08, 2021
+1 (734) 496-9222 Just did this.
November 16, 2021
Spam call from 866-677-9939. Left a pre-recorded voicemail (I got the half end of it recorded) saying to call back number 855-457-1892. Clearly a spam, did not call back. If legit, they would let a real person leave a voicemail.
November 16, 2021
Received a call at 3:30 p.m. on 11/16/2021 from (251) 420-3032 (Alabama) and the voice said, "Please hold my bluetooth is not working, three, two, one" then HE cut the phone call. Not sure if this will "ding" my phone bill but I will be blocking this number from future calls. Thank you!
Dourque Phace
December 02, 2021
How would it work with Tracfone?
December 14, 2021
My family and I have been getting harassing's phone calls from this number 740 204 2154 looking for my son, they will not tell us why nothing, we do not answer calls we don't know and they leave not very nice messages, I do not know what to do with this and this isn't the first call we have received, we saved all of these, now what to do, the police department is saying its a scam but I do not want my kids aggravated with this.
January 06, 2022
This number was also used in a fake email receipt for Norton Anti-virus, but didn't have my name on the receipt or any digits from my card listed like legit email receipts do and it just said that my card would be charged $479.00 and listed the 805 number to call if I didn't initiate this transaction. . I called the number and I wasn't asked for my name and no other personal info was exchanged. The person only had the chance to ask me what product was purchased and the call was disconnected.