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Warning: Don’t Answer Calls from These Area Codes

Phone Scams
Tomohiro Ohsumi, Getty Images

Is it just me or does it seem like answering your phone these days is like playing a game of Russian Roulette?

I rarely answer my phone, especially from numbers I don’t recognize, but on Monday I decided to pick up the phone. Take one guess as to who it was; it was a bill collector. My ex-husband decided to stop paying the gas bill last year and stuck me with the bill. Boom.

Now, every time the phone rings I have this inner monologue with myself, “answer it, it could be another bill collector; don’t answer it, it could be another bill collector. Remember, if they ask if you can hear them, don’t say a word and just hang up. If it’s important, they’ll leave a message.”

All this drama over answering the phone. But, sometimes you have to answer the phone from an unknown number or area code; maybe you just applied for a job or maybe a family member is in trouble. You just never know.

This guide should be of some help. According to ABC 7 Chicago and, you should avoid answering phone calls and texts from these area codes:

242 – Bahamas
441 – Bermuda
784 – St. Vincent and Grenadines
246 – Barbados
473 – Grenada, Carriacou, and Petite Martinique
809, 829, and 849 – Dominican Republic
264 – Anguilla
649 – Turks and Caicos
868 – Trinidad and Tobago
268 – Antigua
664 – Montserrat
876 – Jamaica
284 – British Virgin Islands
721 – St. Maarten
758 – St. Lucia
869 – St. Kitts and Nevis
345 – Cayman Islands
767 – Dominica

It’s best to not call them back, too.

Part of the “473 Scam” is to make you believe that these are US numbers, when in fact, they’re international.

Don’t let your curiosity get the best of you; you might be wondering if it’s that job offer you’ve been waiting for or that guy you met while on vacation finally calling you, but it’s probably a scam and it could end up costing you quite a bunch.


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