Anyone can become a victim of a scam these days because fraud schemes are becoming increasingly hard to identify.
Unfortunately, many scammers are smart people who know exactly how to trick you into giving away personal information or unknowingly authorizing charges. And now, not only do you have to be careful about what emails you open or what phone calls you answer, but you can’t even return some calls safely.
One scam to watch out for is the one-ring phone scam, in which the phone will ring once or twice before disconnecting. Then a number that looks domestic will appear in your missed calls, but it is actually a foreign number in disguise. If you call back, you’ll get charged expensive international call rates and maybe even pay-per-minute fees.
The best way to protect yourself is to simply not call back a number that you don’t recognize, especially if the area code is 649, 809, 284, or 876. According to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), you can ask your phone company to block outgoing international calls on your line, as well.
The FCC recommends that you “be aware that many 3-digit area codes (mostly in the Caribbean) connect callers to international telephone numbers.” If you think you’ve already become a victim of this scam, you can file a complaint with the FCC or the Federal Trade Commission.