Warning: Beware the 'one ring' phone scam

Published: May. 6, 2019 at 4:28 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is warning people to watch out for the "one ring" phone scam that is hitting several states.

The "one ring" scam targets specific area codes in bursts, sometimes calling the same number several times overnight.

If you call back these unknown callers, you may get per minute toll charges. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) said the scammers are using the '222' country code of Mauritania, which is in West Africa.

Usually, a robocaller will call and hang up after one or two rings. It may do this several times, in the hopes that someone will call back and run up a toll that is paid to the scammer.

“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. “However, in this case, that could be an expensive decision.”

The BBB said no reports of these calls have happened in Central or Eastern Kentucky, but it wants the public to be aware.

Here are some tips if you get one of these calls:

- Don't call back numbers you do not know, especially if they look like they are from overseas.

- If you get one of these calls, file a complaint at www.fcc.gov/complaints and at www.bbb.org/scamtracker.

- If you never make international calls, you can ask your phone company to block outbound international calls to prevent accidental toll calls.

- Keep a close eye on your phone bill for unexpected charges.