What Happens When You Call Back a Fake Number | Risks of Dialing Back

Encountering a suspicious or fake phone number can be unsettling, leaving individuals curious about the potential consequences of dialing back. While curiosity may tempt some to return the call out of intrigue or concern, it is crucial to be aware of the risks involved. Calling back a fake number carries various risks, including falling victim to scams, incurring unauthorized charges, enabling further fraud attempts, exposing your device to hacking or malware, and wasting valuable time and energy. This article aims to shed light on what can happen when you call back a fake number and provides insights to help individuals make informed decisions regarding such calls.

Phone Scams and Fraudulent Activities

Image Source: Consumer Cellular

Fake phone numbers are often associated with scams and fraudulent activities. Calling back a fake number may connect you to scammers posing as representatives from banks, government agencies, or other legitimate organizations. These scammers employ various techniques to deceive and manipulate individuals into divulging sensitive information, such as financial details, social security numbers, or passwords, leading to potential identity theft or financial loss.

Toll and Premium Rate Charges

Some fake numbers are designed to generate revenue for scammers through premium rate services or unauthorized charges. Dialing back such numbers may connect you to premium rate services that incur exorbitant call charges or automatically subscribe you to costly services without your knowledge or consent. These charges can lead to significant financial implications and may be difficult to reverse.

Phone Number Verification and Harvesting

Calling back a fake number can serve as confirmation to scammers that your phone number is active and valid. Scammers may exploit this information for further fraudulent activities, such as selling your number to other scammers or using it for targeted phishing attempts, spam messages, or robocalls. This can result in an influx of unwanted calls, messages, or potential exposure to additional scams.

Phone Hacking and Malware

In certain cases, calling back a fake number may expose your device to hacking attempts or malware. Scammers may attempt to exploit vulnerabilities in your phone's operating system or trick you into downloading malicious software by engaging in conversation or providing instructions during the call. This can compromise your device's security, allowing scammers unauthorized access to personal information or control over your device.

Wasting Time and Energy

Aside from the potential financial and security risks, calling back fake numbers can also be a waste of time and energy. Scammers often engage in tactics to keep individuals on the line for extended periods, engaging in meaningless conversations or attempting to build rapport. This can consume valuable time and energy that could be better spent on more productive or meaningful activities.


It is essential to exercise caution and skepticism when encountering suspicious numbers and prioritize your personal safety and privacy. If you receive calls from unfamiliar or suspicious numbers, it is advisable to avoid returning the call and, if necessary, report the number to your service provider or local authorities to help protect yourself and others from potential fraudulent activities.

Header image source: NBC

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