Sheriff’s department reports phone scam
The Washington County Sheriff’s Office reports that a phone scam that repeats itself in modified forms every few years, is once again spreading throughout the United States.
Criminals target people simply by calling them. Intended victims receive a call on their phones from foreign area codes, which rings once and then disconnects, attempting to arouse curiosity about who just called. Sometimes these calls actually allow the phone to ring long enough for the victim to answer, after which the caller (or the caller’s robocaller system) makes groaning sounds or otherwise indicates that he or she is in distress and then hangs up. Charges may apply when you make the return call — in some cases, $19 or more. Don’t be a victim!
Recommended best phone practice is to return only calls to numbers you know or to unknown numbers that leave a legitimate message.
The area codes 284, 473, 649, 809, and 876 have been the primary sources of the current scam.
Following is a list of area codes that are international and could potentially originate phone scam calls. All but a few are relatively new, having been split off from 809 in the late 1990s: area code 242 (Bahamas), 246 (Barbados), 264 (Anguilla), 268 (Antigua), 284 (British Virgin Islands), 345 (Cayman Islands),
441 (Bermuda), 473 (Granada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique), 649 (Turks and Caicos), 664 (Montserrat), 758 (St. Lucia), 767 (Dominica), 784 (St. Vincent and Grenadines), 809-829, 849 (Dominical Republic), 868 (Trinidad and Tobago), 876 (Jamaica), 869 (St. Kitts and Nevis).