NEWS RELEASE: “One Ring” Scam



In this world, phone scams are unending. That being said, there are a few variations of one that are making a comeback. It’s called the “One Ring” scam. It’s aimed at wireless phone subscribers, and it works like this.

You get a call on your cell phone, but it disconnects quickly, typically after only one ring. So you check the call log to see who it was. You find an unfamiliar number from what appears to be a domestic area code. So you call the number to see who it was, and what they wanted.  YOU’RE HOOKED!

The “domestic” number you think you’re calling is actually an International hotline number that charges a hefty fee just for connecting your call. But you won’t know that until you receive your phone bill – next month. Some of these international hotlines actually connect to nothing. The fraudsters’ hope is that you’ll think something went wrong with the call and you’ll try again – racking up a second big charge. Other of these international hotlines connects to a recording or to a receptionist. In either case, the plan is to keep you on the ling as long as possible – with the meter running.

Other variations of this scam involves the caller leaving a voice message/recording on your cell phone urging you to call a certain number about a great financial opportunity, a misplaced shipment, a class action lawsuit opportunity or some other way that you might get money for doing practically nothing. They will even sometimes tell you that if you do not call the number, your local law enforcement agency will come arrest you because there are serious allegations against you. When you make that call, you get hit with unexpected, hidden, high charges.

So what should you do? The simplest thing is to never place a call back call to a number you don’t recognize. But if you want or need to call back some missed calls, make sure the area code of any unknown number is really a domestic area code. A simple Google search of the number will help determine of the number is domestic or a scam.

If you discover big fraudulent charges on your wireless phone bill, call your service provider and report the fraud. If the service provider won’t waive the charges, you can file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission.


Kelly Colvin
Public Information Officer
Marshall Police Department






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