Scam: Those who return hang-up calls from phone numbers beginning with 375 or 371 incur $15 to $30 charges.
Example:[Collected on the Internet, October 2012]
Mobile Phone info
People have been receiving calls from 375602605281 & 37127913091 or any number starting with a 375 or 371 number. One ring & they hang up leaving a missed call message. If you call back it's one of those numbers that are charged $15-$30 and they can copy your contact list in 3 seconds. If you have a bank or credit card details on your phone they can copy that too!!!! 375 is from Belarus and Afghanistan .... 371 is the code for Latvia.
DON'T aNSWER OR CALL BACK.
Origins: According to scam alerts that have been spread via e-mail and social media sites such as Facebook since at least June 2012, people who receive one-ring calls from numbers beginning with 375 or 371 and then attempt to return those calls are charged between $15 and $30 for their efforts. Moreover, says the warning, calling back gives up users' contact lists, bank and credit card details.
These alerts are mostly false. It's not possible that the mere act of calling a
particular number would allow a phone user's contacts and banking information to be retrieved by someone else. That sort of information would become compromised only if another party hacked into the phone (via malicious app or other code) — in other words,
the user would have to actively do something to permit the code entry into his phone.
375 is the country code assigned to Belarus, and
371 is the country code assigned to Latvia. Those who call phone numbers beginning with those digits will incur per-minute charges for making international calls, but not any automatic $15 or $30 surcharges imposed merely for connecting to one of those numbers. According to Sprint, those charges are $2.63 per minute for calls placed from U.S. landlines to Belarus, and $2.51 per minute for calls placed from U.S. landlines to Latvia. (Per minute charges are slightly higher when the calls are placed from cell phones.)
There is a scam being run via these one-ring hang-up calls, but it's a petty one, and those duped into returning those calls lose only the per-minute charges for every minute they stay on the phone and not the $15 or $30 surcharges decried in the warning. According to Vijay Mukhi, an IT expert in India:
It is an old scam under the Priority Payment Number — a computer program dials as many series of numbers as possible. There is one ring for giving a missed call. We believe it to be an international number and call back following which the service provider charges the caller for making an international call. [A portion of] the money thus charged is then paid to the company owning the number by the service provider. A portion of this money is then paid to the scammer by the company. So, the only advice is to never call back.