Never Answer Calls From These Area Codes

Cindy Ellis - January 5, 2024

man on cellular phone at laptop

Every now and then, you will get calls you shouldn’t answer. From robocalls to spam calls, you can tell the nature of the call just by looking at the area code. Fraudsters and spam calls often call using phone numbers from similar areas. Unless you know someone from these area codes, you shouldn’t let them disrupt your attention – let alone answer the call.

The calls from the area codes we will list in our article are often not as innocent as an extended warranty offer or a deal from a brand you know. These calls usually belong to scammers who want to make a quick buck by luring you into their traps.

Below, you’ll discover these area codes. Also, we’ll explain why you may be getting calls from these area codes and how to avoid them altogether.

Area Codes You Should Never Answer

Before we list the specific area codes, you should avoid all calls from outside the United States. If the phone number calling you begins with any number other than +1, which is the US country calling code, you shouldn’t answer the call.

Again, that’s unless you know someone who might call you outside the country.

With that out of the way, make sure to never answer calls from these area codes:

  • 1-767: Commonwealth of Dominica
  • 1-268: Antigua and Barbuda
  • 1-284: British Virgin Islands
  • 1-473: Grenada
  • 1-664: Montserrat
  • 1-809, 1-829, 1-849: Dominican Republic
  • 1-876: Jamaica
  • 1-649: Turks and Caicos Islands

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) also recommends not answering calls from these area codes.

The above area codes resemble those in the United States, with the +1 in the beginning, but these calls come outside the country. That’s because the countries listed above don’t have specific phone codes assigned to them and use +1 followed by an area code and phone number. Therefore, it appears similar to a US phone number.

For example, a call from Jamaica looks like 1-876-xxx-xxxx.

Scammers use these phone numbers to appear as any other caller from the US, making the calls more likely to be picked up. Using these phone numbers also safeguards them from legal repercussions, as the calls come from outside the United States.

When you get calls from these area codes, never answer the phone. Instead, let the call go to voicemail. They will leave a voicemail or text message if they have a legitimate reason to contact you. If they leave anything, you’ll know why they’re calling without picking up the phone. Scammers usually don’t bother with following up on their calls.

Why Phone Numbers From These Area Codes Might Call You

You may get calls from these area codes or other unknown phone numbers for various reasons. Here’s why you might be getting calls from these strange numbers.


Unless you know someone from the above area codes, they are likely scam calls that aim to deceive you and take your money. Answering these calls makes things even worse for the future, as it signals that your phone number is active and for fraudsters to make more calls – often for other reasons with the same fraudulent motives.


Although very unlikely, telemarketers may use foreign phone numbers to make calls. These calls don’t always guarantee a scam, but the product or service they’re selling is often subpar at best.

The telemarketing calls from these area codes might also be linked to scams, asking your credit card information to charge your account for a great product deal. It’s best not to bother with these marketing calls and avoid answering them altogether.


Robocalls are usually harmless, as they only play a prerecorded message. However, some of these calls may ask you to call back in return for a big prize or a deal – often something too good to be true – where you’ll then be connected to their premium-rate phone number and charged instantly.

Watch out for these robocalls, especially if they are from the area codes listed above.

What Are Common Call Scams?

The scams fraudsters come up with are endless, but there are common phone scams that can help you put a red flag on the calls. Note that these scam calls apply to any call from any area code, not just from the ones we listed in our article.

Here are some of these scam tactics you should watch out for, especially if the call is from a strange phone number.

Tech Support Scams

Tech support scams target those with and without a computer problem alike. These calls typically start with the scammer introducing themselves as a technician from a reputable company and requesting remote access to your device to fix a problem.

Whether you’ve had a computer problem or not, simply hang up the phone if someone claims to be a technician. If you have a computer problem to be fixed, get the official tech support number from the manufacturer’s website and connect to a technician that way instead.

One Ring Scam

There are premium-rate phone numbers that charge you for calling. Fraudsters take advantage of these by ringing you once and expecting a callback. Even if the call lasts for a few seconds and you hang up, you will get charged immediately through your phone bill.

The premium-rate phone numbers in the US start with 1-900. However, scammers may use a premium-rate phone number from another country. Make sure that the number isn’t a premium-rate phone number before calling. There are various resources that can help you look up a phone number.

Debt Collector Scam

This scam claims you owe a debt and pretends to be a debt collector. Often, fraudsters urgently pressure you into paying, or you’ll face severe legal consequences and ask for payment information.

If you get calls claiming you owe money and must pay urgently, end the call immediately. Fraudsters may also contact you with similar claims through email or text messages. It’s always best to verify a debt directly with companies and government agencies if you suspect you really owe money.

Job Opportunities Scam

Another common phone scam is job offers. These calls offer high payments and flexible working but ask you to pay a deposit or fill out a long form that asks for your personal details. Either way, the scammer wins by getting money or using your information to commit fraud in other ways.

Other Scams

The scams fraudsters come up with are endless. They could be asking for your bank details for a product offer, your Social Security Number for government-related reasons, or asking for any other information.

If you get calls from the area codes listed above or any other strange phone number, skip answering the call and leave it to voicemail. In case someone, whether a person or an organization, has a genuine motive to contact you, they will find alternative ways than just calling you.

scammer making a call wearing ski mask

Take These Actions to Prevent Unwanted Calls

Spam calls are undoubtedly annoying. Luckily, some actions can prevent these calls before they get too bothersome.

National Do Not Call Registry

Register your phone number to FTC’s National Do Not Call Registry to ensure you never get calls from telemarketers. Doing this won’t stop getting calls from the area codes you shouldn’t answer. Nonetheless, it will lessen the number of random calls you get.

Block the Number

Although simple, blocking the phone numbers that give you unwanted calls is a solid way to ensure the calls don’t repeat themselves. You can simply block a phone number on the Phone app, whether on iOS or Android.

Mute Unknown Callers

If you’re getting repeated spam calls, consider muting unknown callers using your phone’s features. iPhone users can silence unknown numbers or put their phone on Do Not Disturb mode and let calls only from their contacts go through.

Android devices also have similar features, where you can mute unknown callers and get calls only from your contacts.

Protect Yourself From These Dangerous Calls

Our article listed area codes you should never answer calls from, but these calls may keep coming even if you don’t answer the phone. You can take the above actions to prevent these calls – or at least reduce them to a noticeable degree.

If you’re unsure about a phone number, whether from the area codes our article listed or another, a reverse phone number search will reveal the caller’s identity. Doing this will not only let you know their identity but also tell you about their intent. While you suspect it’s a scam call, an old friend may be trying to contact you somewhere far away.

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