CNBC reports that there’s a telephone scam going on that dupes people who call numbers on their call display back.
How does the scam work? People call you from local-sounding area codes like 809 or 473 and hang up after one ring. “809 is the new Appleton, Wisconsin area code,” you might find yourself thinking, “Right? Because in this era of smart phone contact lists, I don’t remember anyone’s phone number, never mind their area codes.”
And then, when people see the number on their call display, they call the number back, unaware that they’re phoning entertainment lines in places like the Dominican Republic or Grenada. Then boom! They’re charged as much as $19.95 just to connect to a recording that may try to keep them on the line by telling them to wait for an operator while they pay more for the call.
3 Questions That Arise From This Story
1. “My smartphone pocket calls people back all the time. Should I just cut all of the pockets out of all of my jeans?” No, the last thing you want to do is start a pocket-free fashion trend (we are assuming you would also reaffix all jean pockets to your sweater). Consider locking your phone instead.
2. “But I need to know if that was the cute guy I met at the bar calling, so I have to call back, even though the person never left a message, right?” Stop, take a deep breath, and Google the area code. Did you get so drunk last night that you flew to a bar in Grenada and forgot that part of the evening? Don’t worry, if that did happen, even people in Grenada know how to use voicemail to ask where they can send you a bill for dry-cleaning after you threw-up on them at the bar.
3. “But all of my friends are from Grenada. And I don’t have voicemail. And I don’t answer my phone. And obviously they didn’t leave a message because they’ve been kidnapped and held for ransom by someone with poor communications skills. How do I wire all of my money to pay the ransom? Okay, you’re right, I just made all that up and was hoping it was the cute guy from the bar.” Thank you for answering your own question so we have more time to watch how well Grenada does in the Winter Olympics.