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If Your Phone Rings Once Then Goes Silent, Be Careful

There is a new telephone and cell phone scam you should be aware of. The scam, involving international area codes, has law enforcement warning people not to call back if they see missed calls from area codes they don’t recognize.

As Fox News St. Louis reports, the costly “one ring scam” is back in a dangerous way. Sometimes, the criminals just ring once and hang up. Otherwise, they play a recording of someone demanding medical attention or claiming to be under attack. This scam has also expanded into unfamiliar text messages.

This is horrifying:

Frank Dorman, who works with consumer fraud and debt collection in the Federal Trade Commission‘s Office of Public Affairs, said in an email Friday that the racket “has been going on for a while.”

The scammers are hoping you’ll call back — and when you do, you’ll be slammed with hefty charges, both per-minute and international. Many reported reaching an automated service with a recording such as, “Hello. You’ve reached the operator, please hold.”

Sometimes the scammers will reportedly play hold music or ads in an attempt to keep victims on the line while the charges add up.

The calls are from phone numbers with three-digit area codes that look like they’re from inside the U.S., but are actually associated with international phone numbers — often in the Caribbean.

According to the FTC, the area codes include 268, 284, 473, 664, 649, 767, 809, 829, 849 and 876.

These shameful scammers are hoping to take advantage of your curiosity. Too many people are quickly dialing in return these numbers, without thinking first.

Remember, if you have any doubts, don’t call a phone number. No one is in harms way and the police really won’t be called.

Using common sense can help avoid future frustration and seriously costly mistakes.

Please share this information with your friends on Facebook and Twitter. We must get this information to everyone about this mass telephone scam!