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The Federal Trade Commission reports scammers are using auto-dialers to call cell phone numbers across the country. Scammers let the phone ring once – just enough for a missed call message to pop up. The scammers hope you’ll call back. If you do, chances are you’ll hear something like, “Hello. You’ve reached the operator, please hold.” All the while, you’re getting slammed with some hefty charges – a per-minute charge on top of an international rate. The calls are from phone numbers with three-digit area codes that look like they’re from inside the U.S., but actually are associated with international phone numbers – often in the Caribbean. The area codes include: 268, 284, 473, 664, 649, 767, 809, 829, 849 and 876.
If you get a call like this, don’t pick it up and don’t call the number back. There’s no danger in getting the call: the danger is in calling back and racking up a whopping bill.
What can you do if you become a victim of this scam?
Contact your cell phone carrier to ask them to remove the charges.
People should also file a complaint with both: 1) Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade & Consumer Protection – Consumer Protection Hotline, 1-800-422-7128 File a consumer complaint online and 2) Federal Trade Commission You may also use the FTC’s Complaint Assistant
To report healthcare and consumer scams, contact Wisconsin SMP (Senior Medicare Patrol) at 1-800-488-2596, extension 317 or visit our website at www.wisconsinsmp.org to learn more.