It seems there is no end to the scams available to those who are technologically savvy. One of the latest plays off our desire to help someone in distress.
Here’s how the scam works. You receive a call from a number you don’t recognize but it looks like a US area code. You answer the call and the person on the other end sounds like he (or she) is in distress. Suddenly the call is disconnected. Pressed by the emergency, you hit “redial” and call the number back. A month passes and you get your cell phone bill only to realize that you called a premium number in Grenada and the bill cost you $20!
The scam takes advantage of country codes. The US has country code of 1. But several other countries also have a country code of 1. For example, Jamaica, Grenada, and the Cayman Islands all have a country code of 1. That means the calls coming from there look like US calls when, in fact, they can be pricy international calls.
There are a couple ways to avoid the scam. First, never return a call from a number you don’t recognize. But for some business people, that is not always possible. The second best is to never RETURN a call from a number you don’t know. You are not charged for the incoming call (more than you nominal rate), the problem is dialing that foreign number. Third, you can avoid certain area codes (809, 473, 284, 649 and 876 are a few).
To learn more about this topic, check out this article.
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