FCC warns about 'one ring' robocall scam: Do not call numbers back

FCC warns about calls from West African ’222′ country code

Do not call back numbers you do not recognize, especially those appearing to originate overseas.

The Federal Communications Commission issued an alert Friday about a wave of "One Ring" scam robocalls.

"Generally, the One Ring scam takes place when a robocaller calls a number and hangs up after a ring or two", the FCC says in a recent consumer advisory. Their game? Realizing they have missed a call, some recipients dial back and are connected to a 900 number that charges per-minute fees.

Consumers should be on the lookout for robocalls using the 222 West African country code. "You shouldn't pick it up, you shouldn't call them back, you should just leave it", he said.

One-ring calls may appear to be from phone numbers somewhere in the United States, including three initial digits that resemble USA area codes. Also known as "Wangiri", is Japanese for "one ring and drop".

If you do not make worldwide calls, ask your phone company to block outgoing global calls on your line.

The whole objective of the scam is to trick you into calling an overseas number that can place charges on your phone bill.

Don't answer or return any calls from numbers you don't recognize. They may call back several times. There have been widespread overnight calls reported in NY and Arizona.

"Advances in technology allow massive amounts of calls to be made cheaply and easily", the FCC said. Variations of this scam rely on phony voicemail messages urging you to call a number with an unfamiliar area code to "collect a prize" or to notify you about a "sick" relative. It also suggested blocking global calls and checking phone bills for unidentifiable charges. If that fails, file a complaint with the FCC.

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