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Do Not Answer Phone Calls From These Area Codes, Here Is A Scam Phone Numbers Guide

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The next time you get a phone call from a number you don’t recognize, you may want to think twice about answering. On the other end of that suspicious line could very well be a scammer seeking to steal your private information such as your credit card or Social Security numbers. While many people fall victim to these scam calls every day, you can avoid becoming another statistic simply by being cognizant of the area code on an incoming call.

According to SecureMySocial CEO Joseph Steinberg, particular area codes can be an early warning sign that the call is unsafe. Years ago, many scam callers used a 900 area code, but nowadays you want to beware of calls from an 809 number, which “originates” in the Caribbean. Steinberg warned that scammers often also use caller IDs with area code 473. Though it may appear to be a domestic number, this one actually “originates” from the island of Grenada.

Even answering one of these scam calls can lead to financial consequences. According to the AARP, taking a call from one of these foreign scam numbers could cost you $5 per minute. And once the scammer starts a sales pitch for a timeshare, cruise or other too-good-to-be-true money fiasco, you could be well on your way to racking up one expensive phone call.

In order to protect your privacy, Steinberg’s advice is to never answer or return a call from an unknown number. If someone wants to get a hold of you that badly, he or she can leave a voicemail which you can use to vet for authenticity.

“Remember that it’s unlikely that someone you do not know—who is in distress at a location with which you are not familiar—would dial a random number in another country and ask you to help them,” Steinberg explained. “They would call the police.”

While most scam phone calls will feature area codes 473, 809 and 900, there are a number of other international ones to keep an eye out for the next time your cell phone rings:

242 — Bahamas

246 — Barbados

268 — Antigua

284 — British Virgin Islands

345 — Cayman Islands

441 — Bermuda

473 — Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique

649 — Turks and Caicos

664 — Montserrat

721 — Sint Maarten

758 — St. Lucia

767 — Dominica

784 — St. Vincent and Grenadines

809, 829 and 849 — Dominican Republic

868 — Trinidad and Tobago

869 — St. Kitts and Nevis

876 — Jamaica

So if you’re like me and your cell phone bill is already expensive enough, keep a watchful eye on any incoming calls from unknown numbers. Otherwise, you may have to stop service altogether when you see your monthly statement.