Police say that for illegal robocallers, sometimes the goal isn’t always getting unsuspecting victims to answer their phones but it’s getting them to call back. Police say that if your phone rings once and then stops and you do not recognize the number, do not return the call. You may be the target of a “one-ring” phone scam. One-ring calls may appear to be from phone numbers somewhere in the U.S., including three initial digits that resemble U.S. area codes, but savvy scammers often use international numbers from regions that also begin with three-digit codes. Police say such scammers may often use spoofing techniques, as well, to further mask the number on a caller ID display.
Calling back any such number puts victims at risk being of being connected to a phone number outside the U.S. As a result, fees may be charged for connecting, along with significant per-minute fees as long as the phone call is connected. Variations of this scam rely on phony voice-mail messages urging you to call a number with an unfamiliar area code to “collect a prize” or to notify you about a “sick” relative.
Police say to avoid this scam by doing the following:
- Don’t answer or return any calls from numbers you don’t recognize.
- Before calling unfamiliar numbers, check to see if the area code is international.
- If you do not make international calls, ask your phone company to block outgoing international calls on your line.
- Always be cautious, even if a number appears authentic.
Filing a complaint with the FCC:
For those billed for a call made as a result of this scam, police say to first try to resolve the matter with your telephone company. If you are unable to resolve it directly, you can file a complaint with the FCC at not cost.