Don’t Answer Phone Calls from These 5 Area Codes
Should you answer an unsolicited phone call from an unfamiliar number, or let it go to voicemail? WPRI, KTLA's sister station, reports that Social Catfish, an online identity verification service, warns that there may be a scammer on the other end of the line.
Scammers are known to use illegal "spoofing" techniques to manipulate caller ID displays and disguise their identity. They often use local area codes to appear legitimate and trick people into answering the phone.
Social Catfish warns against answering calls from five specific area codes, which are 268 (Antigua and Barbuda), 876 (Jamaica), 473 (Grenada and Carriacou), 649 (Turks and Caicos Islands), and 284 (British Virgin Islands), as they have all been linked to fraudulent activities.
If you do answer the phone, Social Catfish advises against engaging with the caller and recommends hanging up instead.
Additionally, Social Catfish stresses the importance of never divulging personal or financial information to unknown callers. To verify the identity of an unfamiliar phone number, Social Catfish suggests conducting an online search. The FCC recommends reporting suspicious phone calls from unfamiliar numbers or any suspected spoofing scams.
To prevent scammers from contacting you, you can add your number to the National Do Not Call Registry or use call-blocking software to send unknown callers to voicemail or block them altogether.