Chicago residents have been experiencing a”one-ring phone scam”. The scam uses auto dialers to target phone numbers across the county. The phone call itself is not the dangerous part, it’s the call back.
Scammers auto dial targeted victims, let it ring once, and then hang up. The victim then notices a missed call, and returns it. The victim is then prompted with a message like, “You’ve reached the operator, please hold”. During that holding period, the caller is being charged with a substantial per minute charge on top of an international rate. Local authorities have stated that calls typically come from phone numbers with three digit area codes, making them appear as US based telephone numbers.
Common scammer area codes include: 268-284-473-664-649-767-809-829-849 and 876.
If you receive a similar phone call, check online directories for registered scam phone numbers. If you’re a victim, file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Communications Commission.