'One Ring' Wireless Phone Scam

  • Amy

Have you ever received a call where your phone just rings one and stop? Think twice before returning that call as it likely is a scam. A scam that loads hefty fees onto your phone bill is resurfacing across the country. The fraudsters behind the so-called “one ring scam” place calls that appear to originate overseas and hang up quickly or from phone numbers with three-digit area codes that appear to be domestic, but are actually associated with international pay-per-call phone numbers. These calls often disconnect after one ring to try to tempt consumers to return the call. Curious victims return the anonymous missed call and inadvertently agree to fees that get piled onto their monthly bill.

When you return the call you could be charged hundreds of dollars per minute. They put you through to a pay-per-call type of scenario where there’s a cost involved to initially be connected, as well as a cost-per-minute once you’re on that call.

If you receive a call like this and do not recognize the number of the incoming call, do not return the call. If you do, you may be connected to an international hotline than can charge a fee for connecting, along with significant per-minute fees if they can keep you on the phone. These charges may show up on your bill as premium services.

Remember, you should always be cautious even if a number appears authentic. Criminals may also engage in caller ID "spoofing" - deliberately falsifying the information transmitted to your caller ID display to disguise their identity. 

What to do if you are a victim of this scam

If you are billed for a call you made as a result of this scam, first try to resolve the matter with your telephone company. If you are unable to resolve it directly, you can file a complaint with the FCC at not cost.

Filing a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission

If you feel that you are a victim of an international phone scam, you can file a complaint with the FTC.