The phone rings just once, then stops. Curious. You’re tempted to call back. DON’T DO IT!

It could be a #pingcall, in which you are connected to an international hotline which charges just for connecting, along with high per-minute fees for as long as they can keep you talking. Caller ID will look as if the call is coming from 01, 02, 04 etc instead of the expensive 0 899. These charges will show up on your bill as premium services. (surtaxée.)

If this happens to you, send a text to 33 700 with the title ‘spam vocal’ and the suspect phone number, and you will receive an acknowledgement of receipt

For any phone fraud, ring 0811 02 02 17

Watch out too for a scam involving La Poste telling you they are holding a ‘colis’ or ‘lettre recommandée’ for you, and asking you to ring to organize collection, or the police, asking you to call another number..

La Poste say they NEVER call you, and your postman should always leave a note when something is being held at the post office.

The gendarmerie advise that you should NEVER  call back an unknown number. Register with bloctel, the cold calls blocking service on, – but dont expect mira les!

If you receive an unsolicited message, you can also send an SMS with the one-word message “spamvocal” to 33700 or connect to the site

Useful vocab

une technique d’escroquerie/frauduleuse – a scam
la tonalité – dialling tone
composer un numéro – to dial a number
être coupé -to be cut off
laisser sonner – let it ring
le destinataire – recipient
le correspondant – caller
décrocher/raccrocher – pick up/put down
s’afficher – to display
un numéro surtaxé– premium number
un accusé de réception – acknowledgement of receipt

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