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Should I Be Worried If I Don’t Recognize The Phone Number?

There have been an increasing number of scammers that have been using automated processes to place unsolicited calls. You may have recently received a call from a number you didn’t recognize, but you still picked up the phone. If this wasn’t a person you knew that was simply calling from a different number or a telemarketing service, chances are that no one was on the other end of the line. You may have just hung up or decided to call the number back. You may be asking yourself, “What is the point of calling only to hang up after one ring?” There is actually logic behind this scheme.

call-and-hangupWhy are scammers calling and hanging up?
While it may seem pointless to you for a scammer to call and then hang-up, there’s actually some logic behind it. The scammer is using an automated process to get you to pick up the phone or at least to get your attention. The scammer wants you to call back the number so that they can charge you. This is how it works. Many of the numbers appearing on your Caller ID are connected to a chat line or premium service that charges a flat international fee plus a per minute fee in excess of $10. Although you probably won’t stay on the line for more than a few seconds after calling the number back, the flat fee charges can certainly add up. Please note that the charges will appear on your phone bill.

The other purpose for scammers to call your cell-phone is to gain access to your information and then to sell it to others. Most individuals provide their full name and sometimes additional information in their voicemail. Many robots call cell-phones to gain access to voicemail data that they can sell to others. There’s still a limited amount of data detailing cell-phone numbers with their respective owner’s personal information, so scammers are doing everything they can to gain access to this information.

What should you do if you receive a call from an unknown number?
If you do want to pick it up to make sure, you can, but then immediately hang-up. Do not call the number back under any circumstances. If you’re very curious, you can Google the number. There are many services now that index scam calls, so chances are that if you received a hang-up, others did as well. If you do happen to call the number back or did so in the past, review your phone bill for any unauthorized charges. Many of the phone companies will credit your account if you report the issue in a timely fashion. If that doesn’t work, you can always file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission and Federal Communications Commission.

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