Returning missed calls from unknown or unexpected International numbers can cost you or at the least, make you a likable target for online scammers and cyber criminals. Know how by reading the rest of post below.
We are talking here about the ‘One Ring Scam’, a racket that has been running across the country for quite some time.
What is this scam about?
In the ‘One Ring Scam’, scammers set up automatic dialers that call several random numbers per hour or so. The call, however, is set to ring only once, hanging up on its own. And given the usual tendency to return a missed call showing up on the mobile’s home screen, at least 1 out of 100 people will call back. And that is when the scam is said to have become successful. How?
When the victim returns the call, most of the times, they get connected to a paid international hotline of adult entertainment services. In this scenario, the victim will be first charged for getting connected to the hotline and then some more for the rest of the time spent on the call, probably engaged with random music and other sounds. And after sometime, the call will hang up on its own. The end result? The victim might notice a charge of Rs. 60/- to Rs. 600/- or more on their account summary or on their monthly bill.
So, where does the money go? The entire amount or a certain percentage of the ‘loot’ will be pocketed by the scammers who set up the calls.
There is another side of this story!
The One Ring Scam may not always charge its victims for returning the missed calls. Instead, the scammers accomplish another motive:
– By returning the missed call, the victim unknowingly informs the scammer that they actively use their phone and could be a potential target for a phishing attack in the future.
How to Avoid the One Ring Scam
1. If you do not recognize a missed call, do not call back.
2. Even if it is not a missed call, and the flashing number does not seem like it is from India, do not receive the call.
3. If you think it is important to return such missed calls or receive such calls, Google the number first along with its area code. Many use apps like True Caller that also helps identify unknown numbers. Odds are, you will find these numbers flagged as ‘spam’.
4. If you think you may have called back on any international number in the recent past, check your bills for any unknown charges. If you find any, get in touch with your operator. In most cases, charges get reversed once the call is investigated.
– Note that, most scam calls originate from regions such as Dominican Republic (809), Jamaica (876), British Virgin Islands (284) and Grenada (473).
– Also, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has advised customers to avoid receiving or calling back on unknown numbers with codes Pakistan (+92) and Belarus (+375)