Here’s why you should never return a call from area code 473 – Phone scammers are after your money


If someone is calling from area code 473, don’t return the call or send a text. You could be setting yourself up for a huge phone bill or worse.

The 473 ruse is the latest update of phone scams used by thieves to rip off their victims. Previously, scammers used “900 numbers” and “809” calls — an international area code from the Caribbean that appeared to originate in the United States — to trick listeners.

While appearing to be domestic, 473 is in fact the area code for the island of Grenada. Calling a 473 number will cost you $5 a minute or more, AARP says, and crooks can make money off those premium charges.

Fraudsters can also record your voice to authorize bills. Earlier this year, multiple news outlets warned of callers asking, “Can you hear me?” with the aim to get the recipient of the call to say “yes.” The “yes” is recorded and used to authorize credit card or bill charges.

In another variation of the 473 scam, described by Inc., criminals wait for the intended victim to answer a call, at which point the robocaller plays plays a recording of someone crying for help or the sounds of someone in need of medical attention or under attack. The idea is to lure a good Samaritan to call back. A similar version of the scam involves texts instead of phone calls.

Other names for the “473 Scam” are “Ring and Run Scam” or “One Ring Scam.”

The best defense against is simply to never return a missed call from an unknown number. A legitimate caller can text or leave an email.

If an unknown caller asks you “Can you hear me now?” — or a similar yes-no question like “Are you the homeowner?” or “Do you pay the bills?” — you should hang up.

Besides being wary of 473, 809 and 900 numbers, check missed calls against the international area codes that start with +1:

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

Author: Harlem Valley News