Foreign phone scam could cost you big bucks - FOX Carolina 21

Foreign phone scam could cost you big bucks

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(file/FOX Carolina) (file/FOX Carolina)
GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) -

If you get a phone call from a three digit area code, it could likely be anyone, anywhere in the country. But you probably never thought it could actually be someone outside the United States.

"Most of them are in the Caribbean, so... since they have the same country code, it looks like it could be a local number, or someone that you know, you just didn't save in your phone, so a lot of people will call back," said Courtney Beaty with the Better Business Bureau in Greenville. 

Beaty said the foreign based scammers will pull from a block of numbers they've collected. "They typically use robo devices, and just call everyone, wait for it to ring once, and then hang up the phone," she said.

She said. their goal is to miss you, so you see that missed call, and then you can quickly get into financial trouble."They'll first hit you with those international fees, then you could get charged a connection fee... and then you're getting charged for the minute,"said Beaty. 

The most common area codes known for the scam, Beaty said are, 809, 876, 284, and 473. She said you should not answer these calls, and also never call them back.

Beaty said many phone companies in the united states are aware of these scams, and they often get rid of the charges when they appear, but how are these foreign scammers getting paid?

"Some of these individuals partner with their local phone carriers, so they'll get a cut," said Beaty. ATT and T warns their costumers about this scam and has a page on their website, called the "809 area code scam".  They provide tips on what to do if it's happened to you, and how to report it to the FCC as well.

"If they keep calling you, there are ways on all smart phones now, where you can easily just block the numbers," she said.

Deveren Werne the Vice President of Liquid Video Technologies said you have options to protect yourself. "There are a few number of caller ID apps out there, that will not only allow you to identify the number, but also block the number, blacklist the number so if that number call you, once you blacklist it, it can never call you again," he said.

You can also be placed on a do not call list., but it doesn't apply to international numbers. Werne said to also be cautious as to what companies you share your personal information with. "They have the right to resell it, or to share it, or give it away or whatever they want to do," he said.

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