As a whole, Americans receive over 33 million unwanted robocalls every day. You probably receive half a dozen a week yourself and might be wondering “whatever happened to that Do Not Call List?”
We’ll save you the time Googling the answer to that question. Idaho, itself, doesn’t have a “Do Not Call” list but according to the Idaho Attorney General’s website it is illegal for telephone solicitors to call Idaho phone numbers who signed up for the Federal Trade Commission’s National Do Not Call Registry. It’s free to sign up for that list and once you’re on it, you’re on it for good.
Idaho law DOES allow charities, political campaigns, debt collectors, surveyors, information providers and businesses a consumer recently did business with to call Idaho numbers on the FTC list so it’s possible that some of the robocalls you’re getting are perfectly legal.
Companies or organizations that don’t fall under one of those categories that DO plan on making unsolicited calls to potential customers in Idaho are required to register with the AG’s Consumer Protection Division. If they don’t, they are absolutely NOT allowed to move forward with any agreements made with customers during one of these illegal phone calls.
But you know who doesn’t care about these rules? Scammers. Scammers who are hoping you’ll be curious enough about getting a call from a number that you don’t recognize that you’ll call them back.
What Is a One Ring Scam?
One of the most common phone scams that Idahoans fall for is a “one ring scam.” This is when your phone rings once and then the number hangs up without leaving you a voicemail. Or sometimes they will leave you a voicemail claiming that they’re trying to reach you about a delivery, you owe money to the IRS or a relative is in the hospital and trying to reach you. In both cases, they want you to call back.
You shouldn’t do that. If you do, there’s a possibility that your next phone bill is going to have an unpleasant surprise on it. According to the Federal Communications Commission, a lot of scammers will use a phone number with a three-digit area code. These numbers aren’t usually American phone numbers, which means if you call them back, you could be racking up international fees. The FCC explains:
“If you call back, you risk being connected to a phone number outside the U.S. As a result, you may wind up being charged a fee for connecting, along with significant per-minute fees for as long as they can keep you on the phone. These charges may show up on your bill as premium services, international calling, or toll-calling.”
Area Codes Scammers Are Most Likely to Use
It’s impossible for the average person to memorize every three digit area code. Heck, a lot of Idahoans can’t remember that the state actually has a second area code. Until 2017, 208 was Idaho’s only area code but as the state grew, it began running out of seven digit phone numbers. That’s why the state started issuing phone numbers with a 986 area code too.
It’s much easier to remember a handful of area codes to avoid and according to SocialCatfish.com, these are the area codes that Idahoans should NOT answer phone calls from unless they are expecting a call from someone in these areas.
Five Area Codes Scammers Use to Scam Unsuspecting Idahoans
By the way, if you are frequently getting what you think are unwanted telemarketing calls you can file complaints with both the FTC and the Idaho Attorney General’s Office Consumer Protection Division. You must have been registered for the FTC’s “Do Not Call Registry” for three months in order to file a complaint.