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Scammers Looking to Defraud Consumers by Prompting Expensive Call Back
Consumers Should Not Call Back Unknown Late-Night Callers Using the '222' West African Country Code
WASHINGTON, May 3, 2019 - 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: https://consumercomplaints.fcc.gov/hc/en-us
- 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. Another key tool is consumer education like this alert and the FCC's One Ring scam consumer guide .