Published: Tue, May 07, 2019
Markets | By Otis Pena

Consumer Alert: Beware of One Ring Robocalls

Consumer Alert: Beware of One Ring Robocalls

Fraudsters are calling victims and letting the phone ring just once, hoping to get targets to call back. In one robocall ploy that US telecommunications regulators are warning about, scammers are letting people's phones ring just once before hanging up without leaving a message.

If you have received a call like this, file a complaint with the FCC, and check your phone bill for charges you don't recognize. The latest wave of calls, the FCC says, are using the "222" country code of the West African nation of Mauritania.

The agency said consumers shouldn't call these numbers back.

One-ring calls may appear to be from phone numbers somewhere in the United States, including three initial digits that resemble USA area codes. It's also known as a wangiri scam - Japanese for "one ring and cut".

"It is human nature to be annoyed enough, and curious enough, about the origin of a middle-of-the-night caller that you might call it back to see who it is", said Heather Clary, Director of Communications for the BBB serving Central & Eastern Kentucky.

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The Federal Communications Commission has confirmed reports of widespread calls in NY and Arizona connected to the scam, with a lot of them happening overnight.

Don't answer or return any calls from numbers you don't recognize.

Defenses against robocalls have also expanded, with the development of apps to block them and phone companies investing in technology allowing customers to identify such calls. If targeted, they should monitor their bills for premium charges. There's a # on the caller ID.

Before calling unfamiliar numbers, check to see if the area code is global. If you are unable to resolve it directly, you can file a complaint with the FCC at no cost.

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