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Here’s the solution to the area code phone scam

Cell phone in a woman's hand, yellow store background (LDProd, ThinkStock)
LDProd, ThinkStock

Authorities are warning the public about a new scam (that is not really a new scam, just one that’s resurfacing) involving phone calls to your cell phone.

The premise is this: you get a phone call from an area code that looks like it could be a United States area code. In reality, it is someplace in the Caribbean, where the nefarious forces are at work. Nothing happens if you actually pick up the call but that’s the point —  nothing happens. You hear nothing.

Presumably you get so curious as to what that was or who that was that you call the number back. And that’s where the trouble starts.

Somehow you are then automatically connected to some sort of system that starts racking up phone charges. You see, this would never happen to me. Because I have a rule that I think is a pretty good idea for everyone to implement. This is the way to avoid scams like these while at the same time limiting the amount of annoying and unwanted phone calls you get.

Do not pick up your phone for any number that you don’t recognize. Ever.

If it’s something really important, trust me, these people will figure out a way to get in touch with you. If it’s not that important they’ll leave a voicemail or a text and you can call them back at your leisure. Otherwise, when somebody’s calling you from a number you don’t recognize, it’s either a wrong number or someone you don’t need to talk to you right away anyway.

Now granted, there are some rare circumstances where I might have to break my rule. Like if my kid is traveling somewhere and they might be trying to get in touch with me. Or if I have any family out of town. But generally speaking, my motto is if you’re not stored in my phone I’m not picking up the phone.

So you see, I don’t really have sympathy for people who get caught up in the area code scam. If you let your curiosity get the better of you, shame on you.

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