It would appear that the One Ring scammers are doing the rounds again and they want your money. These short duration scam calls started years back in Japan (Wangiri scam) but have since made a big comeback in the US over the last few months.
The scam goes by several names such as the missed call scam, the one ring scam, the ring and run scam, Wangiri scam, and the dial-and-disconnect scam but the goal is always the same, to steal your money.
What happens is that you receive a call that immediately cuts off after a single ring. When the victim calls the number back, the fraudster then uses technology to reroute the call to a premium rate number overseas, which means that you lose a lot of money.
You are usually placed on hold or played a long pre-recorded message to keep you on the phone and rack up higher bills. They rely on the fact that most people who get a missed call will call the number back.
On some occasions, they may wait for you to answer and then respond with a muffled voice that you can’t understand or with other noises that get you worried.
If you use voicemail, a third method that they may use is to leave you a message claiming to be from the police or hospital and say that there has been an emergency and asking you to call back.
How to Minimize the Risk
- Don’t call any number back that calls only once or from a number that you don’t recognize.
- Set up and use your voicemail feature on your phone. However, as we indicated above, beware of phony alert messages asking you to call back.
- Also, ask yourself how the supposed caller would have your number.
- Check the number through online directories. These will tell you where the phone number is registered.
- Type the number straight into Google with the area code included and check to see if others have had the calls and whether or not they are a scam.
- Keep your eye on your phone bill for unusual charges. Contact your service provider if anything seems strange.