On Your Side: FCC warns about ‘One Call’ robocalls

CBS47 On Your Side

Don’t call back phone numbers that ring once and hang up, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has warned.

People throughout the U.S. have been receiving “One Ring”. The calls are targeting specific area codes “often calling multiple times in the middle of the night.”

The FCC says the scam works like this, your cellphone rings once.

But the caller leaves no message. 

Thinking you missed a call, you call the number back.

Someone answers or maybe you get a recording.

You stay on the phone listening and in the end, you hit with a fat phone bill.”

Tim Prugar works for NextCaller, a real time verification technology company.

The Vice President of NextCaller Operations says, “A lot of these scammers have worked out deals. They get a kick back for the calls that come through. So they are getting paid and your getting hit with an enormous phone bill.”

Prugar says the numbers are like the old 900 numbers, which feature big tolls for every minute your connected.

The FCC says the calls are mostly originating for the 222 country code of Africa and they usually happen at night.

Robocallers have become more advanced in how they hide their numbers and spoof – or imitate – numbers from other places.

In April last month, Americans received 4.9 billion robocalls, or 163 million calls per day, according to YouMail, a robocall blocking service.

So what’s you’re best defense?
The most simple and effective remedy is don’t answer numbers you don’t know

Also turn to the government

List your phones on the ‘National Do Not Call’ registry. 

If your number is on the registry and you do get unwanted calls, report them.

So far, the FCC has sued nearly 500 corporations or businesses.

You can also download apps such as Truecaller, Robokiller, and Hiya, which will block the calls. 

You should also check with your cellphone company, T-Mobile, Verizon and AT&T, have tools to combat robocalls.

They work by blocking calls from numbers known to be problematic.

You can always turn the tables, thanks to Jolly Roger Telephone Company, for as low as 99 cents a month you can send the robocall to a robot.

Roger Anderson, with Jolly Roger Telephone Company says, “I’m trying to save network as long as I can. I’m afraid the telephone network won’t stand up to these unsolicited calls.”

Another tip, watch what you say.

The robocall could record you answering ‘yes’ a question, like can you hear me?

It can then use that ‘yes’ to open a credit card account under your name.

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are rushing to push legislation to fix the growing problem, but it’s an issue that will only get worse as technology grows.

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