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FCC alerts consumers of ‘One Ring’ phone scam

FCC alerts consumers of ‘One Ring’ phone scam
  • The scam intends to exploit people’s curiosity so as to trick them into paying exorbitant fees.
  • The phone calls appear to originate from phone numbers that are based in the United States.

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is alerting users about the ongoing ‘One Ring’ phone scam. The scam intends to exploit people’s curiosity so as to trick them into paying exorbitant fees.

How does it work?

According to a report from the FCC, the scam begins with scammers contacting an unsuspecting consumer using a one-ring phone call. These phone calls appear to originate from phone numbers that are based in the United States.

The spoofed phone numbers include three initial digits that resemble US area codes. In some cases, the phone calls come from international phone numbers that use three-digit area codes of a given region - for example ‘649 for Turks and Caicos and ‘809’ for the Dominican Republic.

The scammers manage to pull the scam by masking the number in customer’s caller ID display.

The purpose of the scam is pique user’s curiosity so that they will call back the mysterious phone number.

How is the user tricked?

If users call back to one of these phone numbers, then they may end up in being charged a fee that may show up on the bill as premium services.

“If you call any such number, 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,” the FCC explained in its guide.

How to stay safe?

The FCC has advised users to be wary of such phone calls. The department’s list of advice also includes:

  • Don’t answer or return any calls from numbers you don’t recognize; and
  • Check out the area code before calling unfamiliar numbers.
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