Don't Return That Call!

February 3, 2014

Forbes warns consumers about a scam that involves calls from certain area codes, such as 473 and 809.

The scam works like this: A call comes through from an area code such as 473, but the phone only rings once and then disconnects. Some recipients may be curious enough to call back, in which case the caller’s robocaller system emits a groaning noise that makes it sound like the person on the other end is in distress, and then hangs up. The phone call recipient may be tempted to call back yet again.

But warns that, while area codes such as 473 may appear domestic, they are from the islands of Grenada, Carriacou, and Petite Martinque, which use country code 1 like the United States. That makes these calls international, meaning they can quickly add up on your phone bill. And it's not just the rate; the scammers can sometimes establish the number which the victim sees on his or her caller ID as a "premium service" number, which means the rate can exceed $20 for the first minute. warns businesses to be cautious about calls coming from some of the following area codes, which are international calls and have a high incidence of “one ring,” “ring and run,” or “dial and disconnect” scams:

  • 242
  • 441
  • 784
  • 246
  • 473
  • 809
  • 829
  • 849
  • 264
  • 649
  • 868
  • 268
  • 664
  • 876
  • 284
  • 758
  • 869
  • 345
  • 767

“Ring and run” scams were a hot topic years ago before the proliferation of the Internet and cell phones when scammers would try to get people to return a phone number with a “900” area code, notes. When in doubt, let the call go to voicemail and let the caller leave a message identifying himself or herself.

Source: “Don’t Return Calls From These Area Codes. It’s a Scam,” (Feb. 1, 2014)

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