questionshave you heard of the 'one-ring' cell phone scam?


I did hear about this the other day! Good thing I'm already in the habit of not answering numbers I don't know, or calling back numbers that don't leave messages for that matter. What a shame, though. There's a special circle of you know where reserved for people who do things like this. Sounds like phone companies may be willing to work with customers they can prove were scammed, but who knows. Sorry to anyone this happened to and thanks for posting so hopefully none of the wooters fall victim!


Is this cell phones, land lines or random numbers? One ring is plenty to wake me up, so I have my phone set not to ring except for designated callers between 11pm and 7am. I don't return calls from unknown numbers outside my area code. I rarely even answer such calls. I am on too many vacation sales people's call lists. I am a curmudgeon about the phone. I answer it when and if it is convenient. If I am enjoying a show, eating dinner, having a conversation, driving, working on art or just enjoying the sun on my porch I ignore it and when (if) I get around to it I'll see who called and decide if I want to call them back. If someone else would like to buy me a phone and pay the monthly bill then I will promise to always take their calls. But as long as I am paying for it I'll use it at my convenience. :)


I never call back numbers I don't recognize. Figure if it's important enough, whoever would have left a message! But, thanks, wasn't aware of the scam. Good to know.

My father got hit by the scam where he thought he was receiving a call from his grandson, needing money to pay bail to get out of a mexican prison. My dad was a very smart man but he called me frantic and asked what I thought he should do. I asked if he had tried calling Bobby, which he hadn't, but did and Bobby answered. Years later I saw this scam being talked about on the news, so it has been going on for a long time. Turns out the scammers got my dad's name & number and knew he had a grandson from my nephew Bobby's Facebook acct.


Add 704 area code to the list. Had it happen twice in the last week. Did a reverse look up and it was number from Gastonia, NC. They say your account is frozen and they want your SS# to unfreeze it. Don't have an account so I deleted the messages. My scam # was 704-772-0700. Too much technology these days...There is a website for this company but I didn't spend anytime there.


Seems to me I heard this on a national TV news program (NBC, perhaps?) in the last day or two. It's currently being booted around on a lot of news outlets as well.

Here's the story from snopes:


@maggie3052: Had this happen a number of times. Since my bank identifies itself when it calls, I always ignore them. Have had these type calls from a number of area codes.


@moondrake: My sentiments exactly. It's my phone.

This same scam was around 15 or so years ago. Looks like a new generation of hucksters has discovered how easy it is to live off of others' labor.


Yeah I truly don't understand why anyone would call back a random unidentified number. I guess I'm decades out of that "OMG some hunky guy/hot girl must be calling me and I can't miss it" phase.

Like most here if I don't recognize the number, I don't answer it. If it's important, they will leave a message and I will call them back if I see fit.


@maggie3052: I grew up very close to Gastonia :-D maybe I was calling to say hello


The best tactic for missed calls from unknown numbers is Google. Type XXX-XXX-XXXX into Google (replacing X with the digits). Separating them like this matches more web sites. If no result, just XXX-XXX (area code and prefix).

Usually you'll come up with entries on or where you'll see more about calls other users have seen. If just searching for the area code and prefix, you can at least find out the phone provider and city (along with the mathematical difference between the two numbers because of the minus sign).


@willyone: I was getting emails for those from friends' email addresses. The first one alarmed me, but I'd seen the person the night before and was fairly sure she wasn't in any Mexican prison. But I live only a five minute drive from the border so one could, theoretically, get oneself into a Mexican jail in the space of an hour. It actually happens from time to time to out-of-towners (often GIs) who, despite many warning signs, try to cross into Mexico with a gun in their vehicle. Since she crosses frequently to visit relatives and might actually have been in trouble I called her to be sure. After that I recognized the verbiage and just deleted them along with all those nice emails from that scrupulously polite Nigerian prince.


@tsfisch: Some people feel compelled to react to their phone. No matter what's happening, if it rings, they must answer it. If they get a text they have to stop in the middle of a meal or conversation and read it. If they miss a call they must return it. It confounds me how much control over their lives these otherwise smart and independent people have ceded this device. It confounds them that when they call I often don't answer, and sometimes don't notice I missed their call for a few days.


@moondrake: We still have just a couple of 8 year old Moto Razr dumb phones. We don't have a large circle of friends or family, I don't think a total of 10 people have the numbers, and we only turn them on when one of us is away from the house. Between us we use maybe 25 minutes a month. Max.

I really can't imagine being at the beck and call of people 24 hours a day. I'm mystified by women I see in the grocery store, shopping and gossiping (easy to tell what they're talking about, since they're doing it loudly). It's my phone. I use it the way I choose, which is "not very much at all."

It's sometimes amazing how that annoys people, though.


Yeah, I got a mystery call and looked up the area code; it was from outside the country, and the link informing me so mentioned it had been used for the 1-ring scams. So I don't automatically redial numbers I don't recognize. Well, I never did, but I really don't now.


Android cell users may download a free app from the play store called to block any calls, either by number, area code or options such as recent calls and more. It's called Mister Number and has helped me greatly by picking up upon the first ring and hanging up. You hardly hear it working. You may also have calls sent directly to Voice mail. I was getting harassed by an ex-wife and she wasn't able to reach me with this app and I also blocked any people that would possibly allow her to use their phone to reach me also. The only glitch I have found is that it will not block calls while you are using the phone during a call, so I ignore them and it sends the caller to Voice Mail that I delete without hearing the message..