Scam Alert - Beware unfamiliar callers

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Carrie Livingston

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Jan 6, 2015
752
766
93
45
St Louis
#1
From my local Fox station...

If you receive a call or text from an unfamiliar area code, you may want to read this first.

Inc.com is reporting that the “one ring scam” that shows up periodically has resurfaced. Scammers are using auto-dialers to call cellphone numbers across the country. They let the phone ring once, just enough for a missed call message to pop up, then hang up.

Frank Dorman, who works with consumer fraud and debt collection in the Federal Trade Commission‘s Office of Public Affairs, said in an email Friday that the racket “has been going on for a while.”

The scammers are hoping you’ll call back — and when you do, you’ll be slammed with hefty charges, both per-minute and international. Many reported reaching an automated service with a recording such as, “Hello. You’ve reached the operator, please hold.”

Sometimes the scammers will reportedly play hold music or ads in an attempt to keep victims on the line while the charges add up.

The calls are from phone numbers with three-digit area codes that look like they’re from inside the U.S., but are actually associated with international phone numbers — often in the Caribbean.

According to the FTC, the area codes include 268, 284, 473, 664, 649, 767, 809, 829, 849 and 876.

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.
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 call is coming from. If it’s someone you know, they’ll call back.

The FTC also recommends reviewing your cellphone bill carefully and to contact your provider if there are any suspicious charges. If you are a victim of the scam, file a complaint online with the Federal Trade Commission and Federal Communications Commission.

Here are the current international area codes within the +1 country code:

242 — Bahamas

441 — Bermuda

784 — St. Vincent and Grenadines

246 — Barbados

473 — Grenada, Carriacou, and Petite Martinique

809, 829, and 849 — Dominican Republic

264 — Anguilla

649 — Turks and Caicos

868 — Trinidad and Tobago

268 — Antigua

664 — Montserrat

876 — Jamaica

284 — British Virgin Islands

721 — Sint Maarten

758 — St. Lucia

869 — St. Kitts and Nevis

345 — Cayman Islands

767 — Dominica

Here are the U.S. Territories’ area codes (listed by territory):

American Samoa — 684

Guam — 671

Northern Mariana Islands — 670

Puerto Rico — 787 and 939

U.S. Virgin Islands — 340

Here are the Canadian area codes (listed by province):

Alberta — 403, 587, and 780

British Columbia — 236, 250, 604, and 778

Manitoba — 204 and 431

New Brunswick — 506

Newfoundland — 709 (879 is being added in 2018)

Northwest Territories — 867

Nova Scotia — 902

Nunavut — 867

Ontario — 226, 249, 289, 343, 365, 416, 437, 519, 613, 647, 705, 807, and 905

Quebec — 418, 438, 450, 514, 579, 581, 819, and 873

Saskatchewan — 306 and 639

Yukon — 867

Nationwide — 600 (and possibly 622, 633, 644, 655, 677, and 688)

U.S.-Canada Numbers to Beware:
Area code — 900

http://fox2now.com/2017/03/10/scam-alert-beware-unfamiliar-callers-with-these-area-codes/
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
6,626
6,629
113
San Francisco
#3
Carrie, this is GREAT information for people to have. Like Neil, I cannot imagine why anyone would place a callback to a number that they don't recognize. Electronic toys are lots of fun and very helpful, but this obsession with 'instant connectiveness' is out of control. I just flew back from Seattle, and even little old ladies are glued to the screens of their smart phones! It's funny, but it's also sad.

I am personally grateful to you for posting this, as I receive 6 or 7 calls per day over the weekends when I'm home that have nobody on the other end of the line. Now, at least, I know what they are. Thank you!
 

John Galbraith

Staff Member
Director
Jan 22, 2017
336
530
93
Poole
#4
I am personally grateful to you for posting this, as I receive 6 or 7 calls per day over the weekends when I'm home that have nobody on the other end of the line. Now, at least, I know what they are. Thank you!
Hi JS - It might not just be scamming calls you are getting. Certainly in the UK we get a lot of "silent calls". The vast majority of silent calls are caused by automated calling systems which are supposed to connect you to an agent as soon as the phone is answered. Some companies don't have enough agents so the calls go unanswered by them, hence a silent call. The worse companies get fined for it.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
6,626
6,629
113
San Francisco
#5
Hi JS - It might not just be scamming calls you are getting. Certainly in the UK we get a lot of "silent calls". The vast majority of silent calls are caused by automated calling systems which are supposed to connect you to an agent as soon as the phone is answered. Some companies don't have enough agents so the calls go unanswered by them, hence a silent call. The worse companies get fined for it.
Oh no, John, we don't get telemarketing calls here in the US, no, no - it's against the law! Oh, that's right, nobody cares, so they're dialing away again.

The calls I'm experiencing, however, are hang-ups after the phone rings and I answer it. I've even tried barking 'hello' to sound masculine, thinking maybe the computer was trained not to talk to a woman ... but that's not effective either. Now I rarely answer the phone unless I'm right beside it when it rings. Sad state of affairs.
 
Oct 10, 2016
111
83
28
Huntley, IL
#7
From my local Fox station...

If you receive a call or text from an unfamiliar area code, you may want to read this first.

Inc.com is reporting that the “one ring scam” that shows up periodically has resurfaced. Scammers are using auto-dialers to call cellphone numbers across the country. They let the phone ring once, just enough for a missed call message to pop up, then hang up.

Frank Dorman, who works with consumer fraud and debt collection in the Federal Trade Commission‘s Office of Public Affairs, said in an email Friday that the racket “has been going on for a while.”

The scammers are hoping you’ll call back — and when you do, you’ll be slammed with hefty charges, both per-minute and international. Many reported reaching an automated service with a recording such as, “Hello. You’ve reached the operator, please hold.”

Sometimes the scammers will reportedly play hold music or ads in an attempt to keep victims on the line while the charges add up.

The calls are from phone numbers with three-digit area codes that look like they’re from inside the U.S., but are actually associated with international phone numbers — often in the Caribbean.

According to the FTC, the area codes include 268, 284, 473, 664, 649, 767, 809, 829, 849 and 876.

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.
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 call is coming from. If it’s someone you know, they’ll call back.

The FTC also recommends reviewing your cellphone bill carefully and to contact your provider if there are any suspicious charges. If you are a victim of the scam, file a complaint online with the Federal Trade Commission and Federal Communications Commission.

Here are the current international area codes within the +1 country code:

242 — Bahamas

441 — Bermuda

784 — St. Vincent and Grenadines

246 — Barbados

473 — Grenada, Carriacou, and Petite Martinique

809, 829, and 849 — Dominican Republic

264 — Anguilla

649 — Turks and Caicos

868 — Trinidad and Tobago

268 — Antigua

664 — Montserrat

876 — Jamaica

284 — British Virgin Islands

721 — Sint Maarten

758 — St. Lucia

869 — St. Kitts and Nevis

345 — Cayman Islands

767 — Dominica

Here are the U.S. Territories’ area codes (listed by territory):

American Samoa — 684

Guam — 671

Northern Mariana Islands — 670

Puerto Rico — 787 and 939

U.S. Virgin Islands — 340

Here are the Canadian area codes (listed by province):

Alberta — 403, 587, and 780

British Columbia — 236, 250, 604, and 778

Manitoba — 204 and 431

New Brunswick — 506

Newfoundland — 709 (879 is being added in 2018)

Northwest Territories — 867

Nova Scotia — 902

Nunavut — 867

Ontario — 226, 249, 289, 343, 365, 416, 437, 519, 613, 647, 705, 807, and 905

Quebec — 418, 438, 450, 514, 579, 581, 819, and 873

Saskatchewan — 306 and 639

Yukon — 867

Nationwide — 600 (and possibly 622, 633, 644, 655, 677, and 688)

U.S.-Canada Numbers to Beware:
Area code — 900

http://fox2now.com/2017/03/10/scam-alert-beware-unfamiliar-callers-with-these-area-codes/
 
Jan 11, 2017
127
274
63
#12
With Grandpa we have a simple rule: we never pick up our landline phone - we wait for the message. (We adjusted the volume loud enough to be heard all over our home.) Our family members know this, so they start with a 'Grandpa/Grandma pick it up'.

Banks, doctors, restaurants etc. always start with introducing themselves. So we might pick up the phone to shorten the message.

Trying to get trough our screening, some buisnesses(?) instead of leaving message, start with: 'Can I talk to John/Jane'? 'John/Jane are you there?' - repeated many times. Our rule: if it is a serious business, they start with introducing themselves. AND - call me old fashioned - I do not like strangers using our first name at first contact.. (In my native country, we would say: 'We did not herd geese together.')
 
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