FCC Warns Consumers of One-ring Call-back Scam

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has alerted consumers to reported waves of “One Ring” or “Wangiri” scam robocalls targeting specific area codes in bursts, often calling multiple times in the middle of the night. These calls are likely trying to prompt consumers to call the number back, often resulting in per minute toll charges similar to a 900 number. The FCC cautions consumers not call these numbers back.

Recent reports indicate these calls are using the “222” country code of the African nation of Mauritania. News reports have indicated widespread overnight calling in New York state and Arizona.

Generally, the One Ring scam takes place when a robocaller calls a number and hangs up after a ring or two.  They may call repeatedly, hoping the consumer calls back and runs up a toll that is largely paid to the scammer.

Consumer Tips from the FCC
How to avoid this and other scams:

  • Don't answer or return any calls from numbers you don't recognize.
  • Do not call back numbers you do not recognize, especially those appearing to originate overseas.
  • Before calling unfamiliar numbers, check to see if the area code is international.
  • If you do not make international calls, consider asking your phone company to block outgoing international calls on your line.
  • Always be cautious, even if a number appears authentic.
  • Check your phone bill for charges you don’t recognize.

File a complaint with the FCC

  • 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 no cost.

File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) 

Advances in technology allow massive amounts of calls to be made cheaply and easily. In addition, spoofing tools make it easy for scammers to mask their identity. The FCC is working to combat scam calls with enforcement actions, a strong push for caller ID authentication, and support for call blocking tools.