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Utahns fall victim to phone scam after calling back international phone numbers

Posted at 9:57 PM, Jan 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-04 23:57:31-05

SALT LAKE CITY — Several Utahns are warning others about an annoying and potentially costly phone scam.

FOX13 was alerted by several viewers who say they are receiving dozens of unwanted calls from international phone numbers.

“It’s just very much a nuisance,” Debbie Hall said. “They are happening every few minutes.”

Making matters worse, Hall gets the calls in the middle of the night.

“These started at 12:41 this morning,” she said.

Both she and her husband have each received between 20-30 calls every day since Wednesday. In total, they have received more than a hundred calls.

“There was nobody on the other end of the call," Hall said. "You couldn’t even answer it. I tried to answer it at first and there was nobody there."

Hall isn’t the only person these scammers are targeting.

A viewer in Davis County shared his call history showing dozens from places like Somalia and Ivory Coast. He made the mistake of calling several of the numbers back and was charged $11.49 each time.

A spokesperson for AT&T says this is known as a “one-ring call scam.” The scammers try to trick their victims into calling back and racking up unexpected costs.

Hall learned to not answer the phone when the strange numbers appear on her screen. She also won’t call them back. She’s most concerned about the endless calls coming in at all hours of the night.

“I’ve tried everything I know how to try,” Hall said.

After a recent call to AT&T, Hall was placed on the “Consumer Proprietary Network Information” list. She hopes that gets the calls to stop.

“About 12:30 in the morning we will find out. That’s when they usually start at night,” Hall said.

People who are targeted by the scammers should never answer or call back. Anyone who falls victim to their tactics is urged to call local law enforcement or the Utah Department of Public Safety.