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FCC issues warning for expensive call back scam

The FCC says Americans are getting flooded with one ring calls in the middle of the night, and warns you to not call back.

WASHINGTON, DC (WTHR) - The Federal Communications Commission issued a consumer alert Friday after waves of reported “One Ring” or “Wangiri” robocalls that target specific area codes in bursts.

The calls are part of a scam, often ringing multiple times in the middle of the night. The FCC reports the calls are likely trying to get consumers to call the number back. When they do, they wind up paying per minute toll charges similar to a 900 number.

Recent reports indicate the callers are using the 222 country code of Mauritania in West Africa, with overnight calls hitting New York and Arizona.

Generally, the "One Ring" scam starts with a robocall that hangs up after one ring or two. They may call repeatedly, hoping the consumer calls back and runs up a toll that is largely paid to the scammer.

The FCC recommends:

  • Do not call back numbers you do not recognize, especially those appearing to originate overseas.
  • File an online complaint with the FCC if you received these calls.
  • 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.

Technology now allows 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.

Learn more: Read the FCC’s One Ring scam consumer guide.