It’s no secret: Robocalls are worse than ever. Hitting nearly 5 billion calls nationwide in April, over half the calls made across the country are some form of robocall. Our partners at WKRC in Cincinnati reported on robocalls and efforts to stop them. This week, the FCC issued a warning about a new variety of robocall scam, titled “one ring.” A victim will get a call from an unknown number that rings only once and hangs up. The scammer is attempting to lure you to call them back. If you do, the number, which has a “222” country code, is based in West Africa and will incur significant international dialing charges.
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The simplest solution to the robocall problem is this: Don’t answer the phone if you don’t recognize the number. “Spoofing,” where the dialer disguises their phone number to look like it’s the number of someone you know or a number in your area code, is a way scammers can trick you into answering.
The FCC further warns people not to give out personal information over the phone, and never send money in the form of wire transfer or prepaid gift cards to someone calling and claiming to be from the government — It’s a clear red flag. No government agency will request this form of payment.
If you don’t answer and are left a message from a legitimate company instructing you to call back, don’t just call the number they give. Independently verify the correct number online and you could dodge another scam.
To avoid the trap of accidentally dialing an international number, you could also work with your phone company to disable international dialing (provided you typically never make international calls).
To submit your consumer complaint, use our online form.