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If You Get a Phone Call From One of These 12 Numbers, It's a Scam

Security experts warn they're commonly associated with fake contests, bogus USPS requests, and more.

The number of robocalls and spam text messages that bombard our phones on a daily basis can seem impossible to stop. Unfortunately, while many calls may just be annoying, scammers can also use our devices to target their potential victims—and some have an alarmingly high success rate. Americans lost $39.5 billion to phone-related swindles in the 12 months leading up to March 2022, according to a joint study from Truecaller and the Harris Poll. But there might be hope for stopping some of the most common culprits, thanks to new research showing there are a dozen phone numbers that likely mean you're dealing with a scam.

In a report recently released by BeenVerified, researchers analyzed over 157,000 suspicious text messages and phone calls made over the past two years. Results determined that 12 phone numbers stood out as particularly problematic, with each using a different variation of increasingly common scam tactics, including package delivery notifications, IRS warnings, and bogus prize winnings.

While identifying these numbers likely won't stop scammers entirely, you can personally protect yourself with this information Read on for the 12 phone numbers that mean you're dealing with a scam call or text message.

RELATED: 7 Red Flags to Watch for in Latest Deepfake Scam.

(865) 630-4266

A young woman sits on her couch and looks at her phone annoyed.
fizkes / Shutterstock

Seeing any communication from your bank can quickly catch your attention, even in a sea of unread messages. But according to the report, scammers have used this number to say a victim's Wells Fargo account has been frozen due to suspicious activity. In this case, BeenVerified recommends not clicking any links attached to the message and instead calling the bank's customer service line listed on their genuine website.

RELATED: FBI Issues New Warning About the Latest Scams Designed to "Steal Your Money".

(469) 709-7630

Frustrated woman using mobile phone while sitting on sofa

Failed delivery attempt text messages have become a common form of spam that aims to scam people out of their money and personal information. In this case, texts from this number usually used the person's name or the name of a loved one to get their attention before asking them to call a bogus customer service number.

RELATED: If You Get a Call From This Number, Hang Up Immediately, Police Say in New Warning.

(805) 637-7243

concerned young woman on cellphone
Mangostar / Shutterstock

The Publishers Clearing House became iconic for its commercials showing people receiving giant prize money checks. Unfortunately, scammers used this number in an attempt to dupe victims into believing they had won the contest themselves with promises of "$7 million, a Mercedes, and $7,000 a week for life."

However, this number wasn't limited to just one type of scam. In some cases, the digits also claimed to be a representative from Visa's fraud department warning that an unclaimed bill could lead to the freezing of a customer's assets.

RELATED: USPS Postal Inspector Reveals How to Prevent Identity Theft.

(858) 605-9622

young man looking at his phone with his mouth open learning about emoji meanings
Aruta Images / Shutterstock

In another bank-related scam, this number was found claiming to represent major institutions, including PNC Bank, Wells Fargo, and Chase, warning that an account had been placed on hold. The messages used urgent language in an attempt to shock potential victims into handing over their sensitive information.

(863) 532-7969

woman looking confused at phone
Alexey Laputin / Shutterstock

No one likes the idea of having their card declined when they go to make a purchase. That's why scammers sent messages from this number claiming to be from an unspecified bank warning that a person's debit card had been frozen.

RELATED: 5 Texts That Are Always Scams, Experts Warn.

(904) 495-2559

Close up on woman's hand holding black iPhone

Scams don't always rely on negative news to lure in victims. The report found that messages from this number used a person's name to claim they had won a special raffle prize from AT&T, noting that it was also used to push a similarly worded scam.

(312) 339-1227

Man looking at his phone in a blue business shirt
Branislav Nenin / Shutterstock

Two different scams were found to be related to this number. One pushed a complimentary bottle of a weight loss product that can help shed "17 pounds in the first two weeks," while the other used a generic shipping notification saying a package requires address verification.

RELATED: 5 Ways to Protect Your Facebook From Hackers.

(917) 540-7996

Shot of man on his phone from behind

Arguably, no movie has made the prospect of getting a sinister call from a stranger more frightening than the Scream franchise. But according to the report, this number brought the terror to life by placing calls claiming to be from the movies' murderous villain, using the recipient's name and claiming to be hiding near them.

While this might seem like the worst kind of call to receive, it wasn't actually a scam. It turns out the calls were part of a viral marketing stunt to promote the release of Scream VI last year. In fact, the campaign was so effective that a few recipients actually called 911 out of fear, per The Hollywood Reporter.

(347) 437-1689

Woman laying in bed looking at phone with concerned expression

Some scams rely on a combination of tricky elements to confuse their intended targets. In this case, recipients said this number sent texts claiming a Dyson vacuum couldn't be delivered because the person owed a small amount in unpaid taxes before requesting personal information via a link to a phishing website.

RELATED: There's a "Heinous" New Scam Targeting Veterans, Warns AARP.

(301) 307-4601

man using cell phone
blvdone / Shutterstock

The anxiety of ensuring your packages stay safe has been turned into a tactic to defraud people. In yet another version of the scam, this number sent text messages claiming to be from the U.S. Postal Service, saying that a parcel was being held due to an address issue.

(878) 877-1402

Woman looking at phone, aghast

Sometimes, scams can incorporate personal details to catch your attention and get you to respond. The report found that texts from this number often used the target's cell phone number in the message when alerting them their bank card had supposedly been locked. One recipient reported she was duped into calling the provided number, only to hang up when the scammer on the other end began asking for her account PIN.

RELATED: Scammers Are Targeting Older Adults in a Costly New Way, FBI Warns.

(202) 221-7923

A young woman talking on the phone with a concerned look on her face while sitting in front of a laptop
iStock / PeopleImages

Scammers using financial issues as potential bait don't only rely on bank accounts and debit cards. Respondents said they received calls from this number claiming they were eligible for student loan forgiveness—before creating urgency by saying wages could be withheld if they didn't reply.

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Zachary Mack
Zach is a freelance writer specializing in beer, wine, food, spirits, and travel. He is based in Manhattan. Read more
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