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Avoid the scam: Don't pick up the phone for these area codes

Knowing where a call is coming from could keep unwanted hands off your cash.

Knowing where a call is coming from could keep unwanted hands off your cash.

Inc.com points out three phone scams that rely on consumers' curiosity and need to find out who has called them.

In one version, the scammer calls, but hangs up before anyone answers. A second scheme, involves the scammer playing a pre-recorded message, often of someone in distress, when the target picks up. The final version involves a scammersending a text message to the potential victim explaining that he or she is in danger and needs help.

For many people, the desire to help or to know who has called leads them to respond, and that when people get hooked.

While many of the numbers used by fraudsters appear to be from the U.S., Inc. reports that most aren't. Instead, schemers have learned to use numbers from countries that also have the same country code as the U.S. +1.

Here are the most commonly used international area codes used by scammers:

242 – Bahamas
441 – Bermuda
784 – St. Vincent & Grenadines
473 – Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique
876 – Jamaica
284 – British Virgin Islands
345 – Cayman Islands

To avoid losing your money to scammers, don't return calls or texts to numbers you don't know. Also remember if a stranger were really in danger at an unfamiliar location, the chances they randomly called you are slim.