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Phone scam: Curiosity to find out who called can be costly

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If you're not familiar with international area codes within the US country code of one, now might be the time to make your family and yourself aware of them. On Feb. 3, 2014, Forbes reported that criminals are using auto-dialers to call thousands of cellphones from what appears to be a domestic number, but is an international one with the victim being charged for the international dialing rates.

Intended victims of the "ring and run" or "one ring" scam receive a call from one of the many area codes being used, which usually rings only once and then disconnects. Many curious people may dial the number back to see who called and automatically end up with additional charges on their phone bills. As soon as the call is connected $20 is billed for the first minute, even if you hang up within a couple of seconds.

The area code 473 has been the primary calling source for the current phone scam. Other international area codes including 809, 284, 649 and 876 have also been known to be used in this scam and other phone scams in the past.

Here is a list of international area codes and where the calls are placed from.

  • 242 - Bahamas
  • 246 - Barbados
  • 264 - Anguilla
  • 268 - Antigua
  • 284 - British Virgin Islands
  • 345 - Cayman Islands
  • 441 - Bermuda
  • 473 - Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique
  • 473 - Turks and Caicos
  • 664 - Montserrat
  • 758 - St. Lucia
  • 767 - Dominica
  • 784 - St. Vincent & Grenadines
  • 809, 829, 849 - Dominican Republic
  • 868 - Trinidad and Tobago
  • 876 - Jamaica
  • 869 - St. Kitts and Nevis

If you receive a call and are unsure of who or where the call is coming from be sure to Google the number before calling back. It can save you the headache of an expensive few seconds of curiosity.

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