Nowadays it seems there is a scam lurking around every corner. The good news is most of these scams are very easy to avoid if you have a little common sense. The newest scam that is going around is using phone calls to make unauthorized charges on your smartphone bill. They call it the “One Ring Scam,” and it may have already happened to you.
So how does it work? First you get a phone call from a strange number with one of the area codes below.
- Grenada (area code 473)
- Antigua or Barbuda (area code 268),
- Jamaica (area code 876)
- British Virgin Islands (284)
- Dominican Republic (area code 809)
The name “One Ring Scam” comes from the caller hanging up after the first ring. This is to try to get you to call them back. DON’T DO IT. If you do call back it will allow them to authorize charges on your monthly bill. The initial charge is $19.95 and then another $9 for each minute you stay on the line.
How to avoid it?
- This is really simple. If you get a call from a crazy area code and it only rings once don’t call it back. You probably shouldn’t even call it back if it rings more than once. My general rule has always been if a number I don’t know calls and doesn’t leave a message it must not have been very important. There are some other steps you can take if you want to be very sure the number is a scammer.
- Bing it! Just copy and paste the number into Bing (or Google) and you will find results from sites that keep track of suspicious phones numbers. You will probably find other people who have reported the same number.
- If you find the same number is calling over and over again you can block it completely. Simply long-press the number on the “History” page of the Phone app and select “Block Number” and tap “Okay” on the pop-up. This will work, but also note that you probably won’t get a call from the same number twice. You’ll have to stay on your toes.
Tips for avoiding phone scams
It’s all about common sense. If a number you don’t recognize is calling and asking for your credit card number don’t give it out. If your bank is calling and asking for information, but you feel uncomfortable, just hang up and call them yourself. That way you can be absolutely sure you are speaking to the correct people. It’s also smart to save numbers in your phone from places you trust. Just use your brain.
Have any of you had this happen yet?