It's quite simple to protect yourself: In addition to the list of international numbers that "look American," keep in mind that Canada and various U. If they did neither, and you don't know who called, don't worry about it. Do not call or text back.
Scammers adapt their techniques as technologies and awareness levels change. What should you do? In the third version of the scam, a criminal sends a text message similar to the voice recording in variant explaining that he or she is in danger and needs help--often making it appear as if the message was sent by accident to the wrong recipient. For instance, if was in use in the District or was being used in Northern Virginia, the corresponding exchange in Maryland could only be used in areas at a safe distance from the Washington metro area, such as the Eastern Shore. Calls placed to numbers are international calls, not typically included in calling plans, and can run up quite a bill. In the third version of the scam, a criminal sends a text message similar to the voice recording in variant explaining that he or she is in danger and needs help--often making it appear as if the message was sent by accident to the wrong recipient. If they did neither, and you don't know who called, don't worry about it. Criminals sometimes do this several times in succession--so victims see a call coming in repetitively from some number they don't recognize, further increasing the chances that their curiosity will cause them to call back. This was intended as a long-term solution, but within four years was close to exhaustion due to the proliferation of cell phones and pagers, especially in the Washington suburbs. Also, 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--they would call the police. If they did neither, and you don't know who called, don't worry about it. What is the scam? In all of these cases, the criminal wants you to call or text back. By the end of the s, the Washington metropolitan area was running out of prefixes. Every number on the Maryland and Virginia sides of the metro was given a "hidden" number in the District's , essentially using for the entire metro. Are there other numbers I need to worry about? Obviously, many good-hearted people are likely to call back in such a situation. Of course, the fact that today's phones allow people to respond quickly to text messages and missed calls means that people are less likely than during the era of pagers to reconsider whether it's a good idea to respond before they call or text back. In order to free more available numbers, the suburban use of was ended on October 1, However, Bell Atlantic wanted to spare residents, particularly in the more rural western portion, the burden of having to change their numbers. History[ edit ] The main area code, , was one of the original area codes established in , and originally covered the entire state of Maryland. Some criminals may do the same, pretending to be a collection agency, a law enforcement official, or a doctor treating a close relative. Nonetheless I told him I received the call. The criminal may ask for you to call or to text back. A confused sounding gentleman from "Liberty Bell".
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