NEW CALL BACK PHONE SCAM!
SCAMMERS LOOKING TO DEFRAUD CONSUMERS BY PROMPTING EXPENSIVE CALL BACK
The Federal Communications Commission is alerting consumers to reported waves of “One Ring” or “Wangiri” scam robocalls targeting specific area codes in bursts, often calling multiple times in the middle of the night. These calls are likely trying to prompt consumers to call the number back, often resulting in per minute toll charges similar to a 900 number. Consumers should not call these numbers back.
Recent reports indicate these calls are using the “222” country code of the West African nation of Mauritania. News reports have indicated widespread overnight calling in New York State and Arizona.
Generally, the One Ring scam takes place when a robocaller calls a number and hangs up after a ring or two. They may call repeatedly, hoping the consumer calls back and runs up a toll that is largely paid to the scammer.
• Do not call back numbers you do not recognize, especially those appearing to originate overseas.
• File a complaint with the FCC if you received these calls: www.fcc.gov/complaints
• If you never make international calls, consider talking to your phone company about blocking outbound international calls to prevent accidental toll calls.
• Check your phone bill for charges you don’t recognize.
Advances in technology allow massive amounts of calls to be made cheaply and easily. In addition, spoofing tools make it easy for scammers to mask their identity. The FCC is working to combat scam calls with enforcement actions, a strong push for caller ID authentication, and support for call blocking tools.
CALL SPLASHING: LONG-DISTANCE CALLING FROM A PUBLIC PHONE
When you place a long-distance call from a public phone – such as a payphone, hotel, or airport phone – using a calling card or access code for long-distance service you subscribe to, there’s a chance it may be routed to a distant call center before being handed off to your long-distance company. As a result, you might be billed as if your call originated from the distant call center rather than the actual location, with a higher long-distance rate than you expected. This practice is known as “call splashing.”
YOUR TELEPHONE CALLING RECORDS
Local, long distance and wireless phone companies, as well as IP service providers, collect certain customer information, such as the numbers you call and when you call them. They also track the services you use, such as call forwarding or voice mail. The companies may use, disclose or permit access to this information in these circumstances:
- As required by law.
- With your approval.
- While providing the service for which the customer information was obtained.
Your telephone company may only release your customer information to you upon request, with certain protections:
- Password for phone or online requests
- Valid photo identification if your request is made in person.
Additionally, your telephone company must:
- Confirm any new or changed password, back-up for a forgotten password, online account or an address of record.
- Obtain your approval to use your customer information for marketing.
- Maintain accurate records regarding disclosure of your customer information to third parties along with your approval.
- Submit to the FCC an annual summary of all consumer complaints received regarding unauthorized release of customer information and certify it is compliant with FCC rules.
Sort by Protecting your customer information
- Ask your service provider for details about how it protects the confidentiality of your customer information.
- Carefully read your telephone bill and any other notices you receive from your company. Determine if your company is seeking opt-in or opt-out permission to use or share your customer information for marketing, and make your choice clear to your provider. Your choice is valid until you inform your company otherwise.
- If you use a password when contacting your service provider to obtain your customer information, avoid using any sensitive or readily apparent information, such as your social security number.
Remember, customer information rules apply to all telephone companies: local, long distance, wireless and VoIP. Make your customer information choices known to each company.
ONE RING PHONE SCAM
For illegal robocallers, the goal isn't always getting you to answer. Sometimes, it's getting you to call back.
Every so often, your phone may ring once and then stop. If that happens to you, and you do not recognize the number, do not return the call. You may be the target of a "one-ring" phone scam.
One-ring calls may appear to be from phone numbers somewhere in the United States, including three initial digits that resemble U.S. area codes. But savvy scammers often use international numbers from regions that also begin with three-digit codes – for example, "232" goes to Sierra Leone and "809" goes to the Dominican Republic. Scammers may also use spoofing techniques to further mask the number in your caller ID display.
If you call back, you risk being connected to a phone number outside the U.S. As a result, you may wind up being charged a fee for connecting, along with significant per-minute fees for as long as they can keep you on the phone. These charges may show up on your bill as premium services, international calling, or toll-calling.
Variations of this scam rely on phony voice-mail messages urging you to call a number with an unfamiliar area code to "schedule a delivery" or to notify you about a "sick" relative.
How to avoid this scam
- Don't answer or return any calls from numbers you don't recognize.
- Before calling unfamiliar numbers, check to see if the area code is international.
- If you do not make international calls, ask your phone company to block outgoing international calls on your line.
- Always be cautious, even if a number appears authentic.