We all know that person who absolutely, positively has to answer their phone when it rings, regardless of whether or not they know who's calling them. That same person is probably someone who immediately calls back any missed calls they receive without considering who may pick up on the other end.

It's always a good idea to let a call from a number you don't recognize go to voicemail, with the thought being that if the call is truly important, the caller will leave you a message explaining what they want.

Doing that might just keep you from getting a nasty surprise when your next phone bill arrives.

confused girl looking at mobile phone in the street
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For Some Scammers Out There, The Goal Is Not To Get You To Answer Your Phone, It's To Get You To Call Them Back

As I mentioned earlier, we all probably know someone who has to answer their phone no matter what, and when they don't grab the phone in time, they call the number back, whether there's a voicemail or not. And that's how the scammers can get you.

In some cases, it's called the One-Ring Scam. Why? Because your phone rings only once before the caller hangs up, hoping that you'll call them right back.

FCC.gov explains:

One-ring calls may appear to be from phone numbers somewhere in the United States, including three initial digits that resemble U.S. area codes. But savvy scammers often use international numbers from regions that also begin with three-digit codes – for example, "232" goes to Sierra Leone and "809" goes to the Dominican Republic. Scammers may also use spoofing techniques to further mask the number in your caller ID display.

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, international calling, or toll-calling.

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Here Are The Area Codes That Illinois Residents Should Avoid Calling Back Because Of The Danger Of Being Scammed

I wish it were just one or two area codes on the list of numbers to avoid, but unfortunately, we've got several, according to SocialCatfish.com.

  • 268 Area Code: This is the area code for Antigua and Barbuda, and scammers have used it extensively for U.S. scams.
  • 876 Area Code: That's Jamaica's area code, and con artists like using it for work-at-home and lottery scams.
  • 473 Area Code: This area code covers Grenada and Carriacou, and is widely used in several scams.
  • 649 Area Code: This one is for Turks and Caicos Islands, and like the one above, is widely used by scammers.
  • 284 Area Code: This area code, for the British Virgin Islands is also a favorite of phone scammers.

By the way, calling back the perpetrators of the One-Ring Scam will generally cost you an extra $30 if the call is to the Caribbean, but you could be looking at hundreds of dollars added to your bill if you call back One-Ring Scammers from India and several Asian nations.

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Gallery Credit: Amanda Silvestri

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