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Callback to scammers resulting in charges

There are ways to discourage telemarketers from ever calling you back. (Thinkstock)

WASHINGTON — One random phone call could lead to a big bill if you get too curious.

Scammers are calling phones across the country, including in the D.C. area, from the area code 473, in hopes that some people will be curious enough to call the scammers back. The scammers call the potential victims and let the phone rings once before disconnecting, which piques the curiosity of the recipient.

While 473 appears to be a normal U.S. area code, it is actually for the island of Grenada. The scammers can set up the number to act like a 900 number and add charges to bills that can top $20 for the first minute, according to Forbes.

Since many people simply ignore the call, scammers are hoping curiosity will lead to call backs. In another version of the scheme, the callers will make sounds indicating they are in trouble if the phone is answered, according to Forbes.

The same scam could be run from any of the Caribbean area codes that many Americans are not familiar with since the region operates on the same international dialing code (+1).

Below is a list of non-Canadian area codes that are international:

  • 242- Bahamas
  • 246 – Barbados
  • 264 – Anguilla
  • 268 – Antigua
  • 284 – British Virgin Islands
  • 345 – Cayman Islands
  • 441 – Bermuda
  • 473 – Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique
  • 649 – Turks and Caicos
  • 664 – Montserrat
  • 758 – St Lucia
  • 767 – Dominica
  • 784 – St. Vincent & Grenadines
  • 809, 829, 849 – Dominican Republic
  • 868 – Trinidad and Tobago
  • 876 – Jamaica
  • 869 – St. Kitts & Nevis

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