One Ring Call Scams | Federal Trade Commission

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Has your phone rung once, then gone straight to voicemail? It could be a scam. Tune in to find out more about one ring call scams.

Transcript:
You’re walking down the street and, suddenly, you feel your cell phone vibrating in your pocket. But before you can even get it out of your pocket, the phone stops ringing and a missed call message appears on your screen.

You think to yourself – wait – I don’t recognize that number, and it doesn’t look like they left a message. You might also think it was kind of weird that your phone only rang once before the call was dropped. Nevertheless, you think: “I should probably call that person back. Maybe it’s something important.”

Think again. A call like this could be a scam. Don’t pick it up and don’t call the number back.
The one-ring call is a tactic used all the time by scammers. They call cell phone numbers across the country, sometimes in the middle of the night, and intentionally let the phone ring once — just enough for a missed call message to pop up. They’re hoping you’ll call back.

Many scammers are located outside of the US and, if you return the call, you’ll likely fall victim to the automated system the scammer has set up to keep you on the line as long as possible. You also could be racking up some hefty international calling charges.

If you’re tempted to call back, do yourself a favor and check the number through online directories. They can tell you where the phone number is registered. If you’re unsure if you’ve fallen victim to a one-ring scam, read your phone bill line-by-line to look for any charges you don’t recognize.
If you think any charges are from a one-ring call, try to resolve the charges with your cell phone carrier. If that doesn’t work, file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at ftc.gov/complaint.

For more information on one-ring call scams, please visit ftc.gov/oneringcalls.

Thanks for tuning in and remember that if you have something to report to the FTC, visit ftc.gov/complaint.