SCAM ALERT: One-ring cell phone scam

Date: 
08/27/2014
ChicagoPoliceBadge

DO NOT call back to numbers that call then hang up after the first ring. According to the Chicago Police Department, auto-dialers are targeting cell phone numbers across the country.  The danger to consumers is not in receiving the call, but in calling back. 

Scammers let the phone ring once and then hang up, prompting a missed call notification on phones. When an intended victim returns the call, they hear a message like "You've reached the operator, please hold," while being slammed by a hefty per-minute charge on top of an international rate. 

These types of calls come from phone numbers with three-digit area codes that look like they are from within the U.S., but are actually associated with international phone numbers. The area codes used by scammers include 268, 284, 473, 664, 649, 767, 809, 829, 849 and 876. 

What can you do?
 ignore calls like this and do not call back any numbers you don't recognize it. If you're tempted to call back for whatever reason, check the number on online directories or search engines first so you can confirm where the phone is registered or see if it's listed as a scam phone number. 

As a victim you can
If you have been the victim of the scam, try to resolve the charges with your cell phone carrier and, if that doesn't work, file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Communications Commission. 

To learn more
Find out about how you can help prevent and reduce crime in your neighborhood. Attend your next beat meeting. If you don't know the date and time of your next beat meeting, call 311.

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