SYRACUSE (WSYR-TV) – Now for two nights in a row, phones with 315-area codes are lighting up with calls from overseas.
Most of the calls seem to be from Mauritania in Africa, or other countries.
The calls ring once and are so persistent, it entices the victim to call back, falling into the scammer’s trap.
That return-call leads to an international hotline, that may charge a hefty rate per minute.
Michelle Dean, from Central Square, is one person who got the calls overnight Monday into Tuesday — and called back. Wednesday, her husband tried to get Verizon to waive the fees, but they said the international calls are her responsibility.
Nexstar contributor WSYR got a similar stance from a Verizon spokesperson:
“If someone makes an international call, they are responsible for those charges. We are always willing to listen to and try and work with customers with a billing issue, but there is not guarantee that any fee will be waived. We advise customers to be prudent when dealing with numbers they do not recognize. We’re constantly working to try and keep customers from being scammed, but bad actors from around the globe are also continually trying to scam and commit fraud against American consumers. It’s a never ending battle.”
A spokesperson for AT&T referred WSYR to a link with advice to prevent the scam but didn’t answer our question about refunding its customers.