One ring scam
(also one ring phonecall scam, one ring robocall scam, Wangiri scam)
One ring scam definition
A one ring scam is a type of telephone fraud that involves tricking victims into calling costly international or premium-rate numbers. To carry out the scam, the criminal calls the victim and terminates the connection after just one or two rings. This results in a missed call from an unfamiliar number, prompting a curious victim to call back.
When they do so, they are connected to a premium-rate or international phone number. These numbers often have high per-minute charges, which may be shared between the scammer and the phone service provider. Callers may be kept on hold or subjected to a prerecorded message to incur further charges.
Stopping one ring scams
- Resist the urge to call back unfamiliar or international numbers. One ring scams prey on people’s natural curiosity and fear that their loved ones might be in trouble. If the call was legitimate, the caller will likely leave a voicemail or try to contact you again.
- Check the number if you’re unsure. Criminals often use the same number in multiple scams, especially if they set up a fee sharing arrangement with the operator. Search online to see whether the number is registered with a legitimate entity and whether any victims have reported it.
- Block or report persistent scammers. If you consistently receive calls from the same suspicious numbers, consider blocking them on your phone or reporting them to your operator.