When the phone rings just one time late at night, ignore your instincts to immediately call back.
The intention of this new wave of robocalls is to get you to do exactly that.
You will end up with unexpected charges on your bill if you call these international numbers, just as if you had dialed a 900 number.
An alert has been issued
The Federal Communications Commission has issued an alert about the robocalls that are currently plaguing the states of New York and Arizona.
This type of scam is known as a “Wangiri” which means “one ring and done” in Japanese, where the scam started approximately three years ago.
The robocalls generally target the same area codes over and over, and usually late at night, so if you receive one of these calls, you may end up receiving many more than just one.
Deputy press secretary Will Wiquist of the FCC says it is a concerning trend and warms that consumers should avoid calling back in response to any of these robocalls.
Mark Brnovich, Attorney General of Arizona went on Twitter to alert citizens in his area:
“Anyone else get a bunch of random calls at odd hours today? Unless you have family in Mauritania 🇲🇷 or other exotic locations, it’s best to ignore these unsolicited calls. DO NOT call back. Scammers hope you’ll call back so they can pocket the cost of the expensive phone call.”
Police and other authorities in the affected areas have also been spreading the word via Twitter, Facebook, and other social media.
What to look out for to avoid the scam
The current robocalls are using the “222” country code which originates in Mauritania in West Africa.
They often occur late at night.
Before calling back any phone numbers, make sure they are coming from an area code – and country code – that you recognize.
What to do if you may have already called back one of these numbers
Check your phone bill for unexpected charges to see if you have been affected.
Call your provider and see if you can have the charges removed.
If you have already responded to one of these late-night calls and cannot have your charges removed by your phone company, the FCC recommends filing a complaint with them at fcc.gov/complaints.
The FCC also suggests having your phone provider block outgoing international calls if you do not have a reason to call anyone internationally.
If you have any older relatives who may be more likely to respond to the calls, make sure they know how to avoid falling for the scam.
Please SHARE this with your friends and family.
Follow your friends or be the first to join our group
We’ve been through this once before
The US went through a similar wave of robocalls three years ago, around the same time Japan was dealing with the annoying late night one-ringers.
The last time, the calls came from a variety of locations around the world including the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, and the British Virgin Islands.
Let’s be prepared for the current one as well.
Source: USA Today