That Nigerian prince is getting craftier.
Phone scams are nothing new under the sun. Ever since the telephone was first introduced to the masses decades ago, scammers have always utilized the technology to scam people out of their hard-earned money.
However, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is now warning people against a new twist on the old phone scam. Dubbed as “One Ring” or “Wangiri,” this new scam works by tricking people into making long-distance calls in order to rack up massive phone bills. A portion of the payment would then be paid to the scammer once the victim settles the bill.
The scammer first runs a bot to call random numbers, usually ending the call after one ring, hence the name. The scam relies on curious recipients who will call back the number to ask who they are and why they called.
A variation of the scam also tells people that they just won a certain, unknown prize, which allows them to keep the victim on the phone. Others pretend to be a loved one or acquaintance. Basically, the only goal is to keep people speaking to their phones for a much longer time than necessary.
The FCC says, “Do not call back numbers you do not recognize, especially those appearing to originate overseas.”
As of April 2019, at least 5 billion robocalls have already been made, according to the official stats tracked by YouMail, a robocall blocking service.