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If You See a Text or Call From These Area Codes, Don’t Answer It

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Inc.com warns readers about the “473 Scam,” where victims are scamming people out of money through emotional manipulation and confusion. These international scammers use phone numbers that “look American” to fool you into believing that you may know the person on the other end. The goal the scammers have in mind is to get you to call them back so “you will be charged–sometimes quite a bundle–for any calls that you make, or text messages that you send, to them.”

This particular scam has several variants. One way it works is for a robo-caller to contact your phone by calling in rapid succession, and if you were to answer, you’d hear nothing on the other end. The other is to play a terrifying recording of someone yelling, scared for their safety or send a text with a similar distress signal. The call disconnects and the text begs you to call them. Either way, the scammers are attempting to lure you into calling or texting back to help the mysterious person in pain.

ABC 13 lists the area codes that you shouldn’t answer (unless, of course, you recognize the full phone number):
242 – Bahamas
441 – Bermuda
784 – St. Vincent and Grenadines
246 – Barbados
473 – Grenada, Carriacou, and Petite Martinique
809, 829, and 849 – Dominican Republic
264 – Anguilla
649 – Turks and Caicos
868 – Trinidad and Tobago
268 – Antigua
664 – Montserrat
876 – Jamaica
284 – British Virgin Islands
721 – St. Maarten
758 – St. Lucia
869 – St. Kitts and Nevis
345 – Cayman Islands
767 – Dominica