Avoid Answering Calls from These Area Codes: A Guide to Spotting Scam Phone Numbers

Avoid Answering Calls from These Area Codes
Avoid Answering Calls from These Area Codes: Phone scammers have become increasingly sophisticated, employing tactics like AI-generated voice scams. If you’re not cautious, you could unwittingly become their next victim. Apart from hanging up if you hear certain phrases, there are additional steps you can take to safeguard yourself and maintain smartphone security and privacy.

According to Joseph Steinberg, CEO of SecureMySocial, certain area codes can serve as warning signs that a call may be unsafe. While scam callers previously relied on 900 numbers, they have adapted as public awareness has grown. Nowadays, many scam phone numbers utilize various area codes, including 809, which originates from the Caribbean.

Another deceptive tactic involves using caller IDs with seemingly domestic area codes, such as 473, which is actually the area code for the island of Grenada, as Steinberg points out. Be vigilant against these phone call scams designed to defraud unsuspecting individuals.

It’s worth noting that the costs of these calls can quickly accumulate, as you may be charged for receiving calls from foreign countries, as highlighted by AARP. Additionally, scammers employ various schemes, from fake vacation offers to fabricated stories of emergencies or financial crises. iPhone and Uber scams are also prevalent, prompting users to exercise caution. Familiarize yourself with methods to avoid Uber scams and prevent spam texts on your phone.

To err on the side of caution, Steinberg advises against answering or returning calls from unrecognized numbers. If the caller is genuine, they can leave a voicemail. Steinberg emphasizes that it’s highly unlikely for someone in distress in an unfamiliar location to randomly dial a foreign number and seek assistance; they would typically contact local authorities.

Remaining wary of potential scam phone numbers associated with international area codes is prudent. Additionally, beware of Facebook Marketplace scams before engaging in transactions.

International Area Codes with a +1 Country Code:

  • 232—Sierra Leone
  • 242 — Bahamas
  • 246 — Barbados
  • 268 — Antigua
  • 284 — British Virgin Islands
  • 345 — Cayman Islands
  • 441 — Bermuda
  • 473 — Grenada, Carriacou, and Petite Martinique
  • 649 — Turks and Caicos
  • 664 — Montserrat
  • 721 — Sint Maarten
  • 758 — St. Lucia
  • 767 — Dominica
  • 784 — St. Vincent and Grenadines
  • 809, 829, and 849 — The Dominican Republic
  • 868 — Trinidad and Tobago
  • 869 — St. Kitts and Nevis
  • 876 — Jamaica

It’s important to recognize that scammers can spoof numbers from various area codes, not just those listed above. As a general rule, if you don’t recognize the number, let it go to voicemail. This simple practice can help you avoid falling prey to common phone scams, including those pertaining to car warranties.

Moreover, if you’re charged for answering a scam call, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) advises reaching out to your phone company to address the issue. You can also report the scam call to the FCC.

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