It's known as a 'one ring' scam targeting different area codes with the goal of getting you to call back.
Here's how it works: The scammers will often call and hang up multiple times in the middle of the night. If you call back, you risk being connected to a phone number outside the U.S. As a result, you may wind up being charged a fee for connecting, along with significant per-minute fees for as long as they can keep you on the phone. These charges may show up on your bill as premium services.
According to the FCC, scammers often use international numbers from regions that also begin with three-digit codes - for example, "649" goes to the Turks and Caicos and "809" goes to the Dominican Republic.
How to avoid this scam:
- Don't answer or return any calls from numbers you don't recognize.
- Before calling unfamiliar numbers, check to see if the area code is international.
- If you do not make international calls, ask your phone company to block outgoing international calls on your line.
- Always be cautious, even if a number appears authentic.
If you are billed for a call you made as a result of this scam, first try to resolve the matter with your telephone company. If you are unable to resolve it directly, you can file a complaint with the FCC at no cost.