Suspicious area codes part of ‘One Ring’ scam

Suspicious area codes part of ‘One Ring’ scam

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - One ring and the phone disconnects and if you call back, you could be in for a big surprise on your cell phone bill.

It's an old scam gaining new ground, adding unwanted fees.

The nationwide scam has made its way to the Lowcountry.

Walter Ferguson said, "I've only received two so far."

Ferguson is one of many getting unwanted calls from other countries.

"268-762-0021," said Ferguson.

The Better Business Bureau for Central South Carolina and Charleston keeps a list of suspicious area codes.

"268, 274, 473, 809 and 876," said Jim Camp, CEO of the Central South Carolina and Charleston division

Camp says they've been getting a lot of calls.

"Apparently it's pretty wide spread. I've heard both at the national level and local level," said Camp.

Camp says the crooks are using computers to call thousands of cell phones from foreign countries.

"Argentina, the Dominican Republic and maybe even the British Virgin Islands," said Camp.

After one ring the phone hangs up and if you call back camp says the scammers could actually make money by placing a charge on your cell phone bill.

Camp said, "The example we have is as much as a $19.95 international call fee plus 9 or 10 dollars per minute for the duration of the call."

Camp says along with ignoring unusual numbers; always watch your monthly statements.

Ferguson said, "With my phone I was able to actually block the area code."

Ferguson has an Android phone and his provider is T-Mobile.

If you are getting unwanted calls, it's best to call your service provider to find out your options for blocking those numbers.

Although there has been a lot of buzz around this scam, Lowcountry police agencies say as of now no one has filed a police report about the scam.

You can also file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau at There's plenty of information there about businesses you might have concerns about.

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