The Phone Rings but Nobody’s There

Every once in a while, our phone rings and when we answer there’s nobody on the line.

I’ve wondered what was going on. Are burglars checking to see if anyone’s home perhaps?

Now I know. It’s a scam. Another of the multitude of scams that plague our phones.

You may have had calls from “Windows technical department” warning you that your PC is in trouble. And if you fell for the scam and let the rogues get remote control of your computer, you ended up paying more than $200 to clear errors in your log.

And you may have had one of those urgent calls to “Grandpa,” supposedly seeking cash for a grandchild in trouble with the law.

Then there are the calls announcing you’ve won some lottery and urging you to send money to pay the taxes or whatever.

And that nice sounding lady, who keeps offering to lower the interest on your credit card debt   And those “free” cruises, home security systems and so on… Scams, all of them.

But the silent-phone scam is different. To fall for it, you have to be proactive. According to an article in Yahoo News this morning, you have to call the number back to get hooked.

The article explains:

These calls are likely part of what is commonly known as the “473 Scam,” “Ring and Run Scam,” or “One Ring Scam,” and the numbers displayed on your caller ID or sent in a text message are likely premium numbers. You will be charged–sometimes quite a bundle–for any calls that you make, or text messages that you send, to them.

The callers are counting on natural human curiosity to prompt you to call back. As for me, I’ve never been that curious. And I wouldn’t know how to call back (or text) anyway. I haven’t kept up with the new technology.

But according to the article, the callers sometime use such elaborate ruses as muffled cries for help or similar sound effects.

Thankfully, we haven’t had any of those calls. That’s the kind of ruse I might  fall for – if I hadn’t read the article.

Click for the article.

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