Have you ever had your cell phone ring once or twice and then disconnect? Then the number appears in your phone log as a missed call and looks like a typical telephone number. Or you get an email or voicemail telling you to call a phone number with an “809,” “284,” “876” or some other three-digit international area code.
If you return the phone call, you may be connected to an international hotline that can charge a fee just for connecting, along with significant per-minute fees, if they can keep you on the phone. These charges may show up on your bill as premium services.
How to Best Avoid the Scam
Check any unfamiliar area codes before returning calls:
* Be aware that many 3-digit area codes (mostly in the Caribbean) connect callers to international telephone numbers.
* If you do not otherwise make international calls, ask your local or wireless phone company to block outgoing international calls on your line.
Filing a Complaint
You have multiple options for filing a complaint with the FCC:
* Online: https://consumercomplaints.fcc.gov/hc/en-us
* By phone: 1-888-CALL-FCC (1-888-225-5322); TTY: 1-888-TELL-FCC (1-888-835-5322); ASL: 1-844-432-2275
* By mail: Please include your name, address, contact information and as much detail about your complaint as possible.