If the phone rings only once, it could be a scammer wanting you to take the bait.
Attorney General Ashley Moody on Monday issued a consumer alert to warn Floridians about this new phone scam.
The One-Ring Phone Scam is designed to trick targets into making costly international calls. The scam begins with a call and a quick hang-up after one ring. The call is made from an international number, using numbers that at first glance appear to originate from inside the United States. If the recipient calls back, the scammer will try to keep the conversation going as long as possible. There is often a connection fee and per-minute charge associated with these international calls. The scammers, through prearranged agreements, receive a portion of these fees.
“Scammers will try anything to separate you from your hard-earned money,” Moody said in a statement. “Don’t fall for this crafty new scam. If you do not recognize a number, do not call it back, and if something seems suspicious, report it to my office immediately or contact the Federal Communications Commission.”
According to the FCC, variations of the scam involve the scammer leaving a voice message requesting a return call in order to schedule a delivery or obtain urgent information about a sick relative.
To avoid the scam, Floridians should:
- Never answer or return calls from unfamiliar numbers;
- Check to see if the country or area code is international before returning phone calls from unrecognized numbers;
- Request telephone service providers block outgoing international numbers if the consumer does not otherwise make or receive international calls; and
- Remain cautious when receiving calls, even if a number appears authentic.
If a consumer is billed for a call made as a result of this scam, the consumer should first try to resolve the matter with the telephone company. If unsuccessful, consumers can file a complaint with the FCC at no cost.
Victims of the One-Ring Phone Scam can also report incidents to the Florida Attorney General’s Office by calling 1-866-9NO-SCAM or by visiting MyFloridaLegal.com.