Mid-Southerners being bombarded with scam calls from Sierra Leone

Mid-Southerners being bombarded with scam calls from Sierra Leone

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - The calls from Sierra Leone have been coming at all hours of the day and night, but only for a couple of rings.

Experts with the Better Business Bureau and the Federal Communications Commission say these types of one-ring scam calls aren't necessarily new, but they can come at a price.

"They're hoping you don't answer, you get curious and then you call back," Nancy Crawford with the BBB says.

Calling the number back could be costly.

"Consumers are actually charged per minute for calling that number and that's how scammers get money," FCC Chief of the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau Patrick Webre said.

Consumer advocates say if you call the number back you'll be charged a fee for connecting along with significant per-minute fees as long as you're on the phone.

Caller ID shows international numbers starting with 649, 809 and the most common number popping up in the Mid-South - 232.

"I received two calls yesterday as you see there, there and then they started back this morning," Lavita Granderson said.

A spokesperson for the Better Business Bureau said that 232 number seems to be targeting the 901 area code, and the BBB has already heard from folks who made the mistake of returning the call.

"When her husband called back he got stuck in this 3-way conversation and it lasted about three minutes before he hung up," Crawford said.

If you get a call from Sierra Leone - here are some tips:

  • Don't answer or call back unless you recognize the number.
  • Check your phone bill for unexpected charges
  • File a report with the BBB or FCC.

If you do call the number back you won’t know immediately if you’ve lost money because charges will be added to your phone bill.

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