We live in a world where we have to endure some sort of phone or email scam nearly every single day.

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Michigan residents need to be aware of a scam that could leave them with some nasty unwanted charges. For some illegal scams, the goal isn't always to get you to answer. Sometimes, it's getting you to call back.

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What is the 'One Ring' Phone Scam?

The One Ring phone scam is something these robo-crooks have been doing for quite some time. Basically, their goal is to get you to call them back.

Your phone will ring and then hang up. If you call back the number to see who called, they'll get you. If this happens to you, don't call the number back. If you do, you could find yourself with some unwanted charges to your phone bill.

You could get charged a fee for connecting, along with significant per-minute fees for as long as they can keep you on the phone.


According to the FCC, One-ring calls may appear to be from phone numbers somewhere in the United States, including three initial digits that resemble U.S. area codes.

Savvy scammers often use international numbers from regions that also begin with three-digit codes – for example, "232" goes to Sierra Leone, and "809" goes to the Dominican Republic.

To make things a little easier, WHTM put together a list of numbers that you should always avoid answering.

Domestic Area Codes With Ties to One Ring Scam

  • 216: Cleveland Ohio
  • 469: Dallas, Texas
  • 657: La Palma, California
  • 332: New York City
  • 347: New York City
  • 646: New York City
  • 218: Northern Minnesota
  • 712: Western Iowa
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International Area Codes With Ties to One Ring Scam

  • 232: Sierra Leone
  • 268: Antigua and Barbuda
  • 284: British Virgin Islands
  • 473: Grenada, Carriacou, and Petite Martinique
  • 649: Turks and Caicos Islands
  • 664: Montserrat
  • 767: Commonwealth of Dominica
  • 809, 829, 849: Dominican Republic
  • 876: Jamaica

The best thing you can do to protect yourself is to not answer unknown calls. If whatever they're calling about is important, they can leave a message or text you.

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