Ladies and Gentlemen,
Below is a message from our own Phil Slack regarding a telephone scam that is going around. Please be careful when receiving calls from phone numbers you do not recognize.
For those that celebrate the holiday season, have a great Christmas.
I have had two calls this past week from similar area codes 845 and 849. The phone rings once and then hangs up. My research is that the purpose of this scam is to hope you call or text the number back. The number is actually a special long distance number similar to “900” with very expensive rates in the carribean.
Below is a warning off the web on how this scam works.
Warning: This old phone scam is back. According to the Federal Trade Commission, scammers are using auto-dialers to call cell phone numbers across the country, letting the phone ring just one time before disconnecting. Inc.com reports that there are actually three versions of this scam now:
- Scammer calls and hangs up before anyone answers
- Scammer waits for the victim to answer and plays a pre-recorded message of someone in an emergency situation and then hangs up
- Scammer sends a text message indicating that they are in trouble
Consumers face no danger by receiving the message, but calling or texting back can be quite costly. Although the area codes may look domestic, they’re international calls to premium phone numbers, which are like 900 numbers. Victims have been hit with an international call fee, plus an expensive per-minute charge.
Sometimes the scammers will reportedly play hold music or ads in an attempt to keep victims on the line. According to the FTC, some of the area codes that have possibly been linked to the one ring scam include: 268, 284, 473, 664, 649, 767, 809, 829, 854, 849 and 876.
Bottom line: If you receive an unexpected call or text from an area code you don’t recognize, don’t answer it. Do a Google search to see where the number is registered. If it’s someone you know, they’ll call back. Always be sure to review your cell phone bill carefully and contact your carrier about any suspicious charges.
If you or someone you know became a victim of the one ring scam, you can file a complaint online with the Federal Trade Commission and Federal Communications Commission.