One-Ring Calls? Don't Call Back

Posted by Susan Dupre on 5/7/2019

 The Federal Trade Commission is warning consumers about the "one-ring" scam. 

In this scam, you receive a phone call from a number you don't know. The call stops after just one ring.  However, even if the phone number looks like a local call, this call is really a robocall from an international toll number.

If you call back, you will likely hear something like, "You've reached the operator. Please hold."  But while you hold, you are being charged by the minute, and that charge will appear on your phone bill, with most of the money for the call going right into the scammer's pocket. 

Recent area codes being used are often from the Caribbean: 268, 284, 473, 664, 649, 767, 809, 829, 849 and 876. This week the FCC is specifically warning about unknown late-night calls from a 222 area code. 

Michael Atleson's blog article on the FTC's website advises consumers to take the following actions if they receive a one-ring call:

  • Don't call back.
  • Check your phone bill for suspicious or unusual charges. If you see something, contact your cell phone carrier. 
  • Report the robocall to the FTC at www.donotcall.gov and to the FCC at www.fcc.gov/complaints.