Scam Alert: If You Get a 'One-Ring' Call in the Middle of the Night, Don’t Call Back

iStock.com/allanswart
iStock.com/allanswart

If it seems you can't go a day without receiving unwanted phone calls, you're not alone. Robocalls are worse than they've ever been—as of last year, Americans received more than 4 billion of them in June 2018. Now, the Federal Communications Commission is now warning of a new fraud tactic known as the "one-ring" scam, USA Today reports.

Criminals employing this particular scam aren't depending on people to pick up their phones. Instead, the callers will dial and hang up quickly after the first ring so the recipient doesn't have time to answer the call. If the scam goes according to plan, the victim will call back the mysterious number, inadvertently opening themselves up expensive toll charges.

The Federal Communications Commission has confirmed reports of widespread calls in New York and Arizona connected to the scam, with most of them happening overnight. Robocalls use the number 222—the country code of the West African nation Mauritania. Whether the number is associated with Mauritania or some other country is beside the point—public officials are telling consumers not to answer calls from foreign numbers unless they're expected.

Hitting "ignore" on phone calls from foreign sources is an easy way to avoid robocalls, but not all scams are so obvious. Another common strategy is call spoofing, which is when the callers call from a fake number, usually one that shares an area code with the recipient. Until legislators and phone companies find a way to crack down on robocalls, the best way to avoid them is to ignore calls that don't match names in your contact list.

[h/t USA Today]

10 Simple Tricks for Charging Your Smartphone Faster

Makidotvn, iStock via Getty Images
Makidotvn, iStock via Getty Images

Smartphones always seem to reach low power at the least convenient moments possible. If you've ever urged your device to charge faster in the minutes before a phone interview or when you're about to board a plane, you can relate. While the easiest way to avoid this scenario is to plug in your device before the battery dips into the danger zone, if you've already reached this point, there are simple ways to speed up the charging process.

Some hacks for charging a phone faster involve steps you can take in anticipation of the next time you're surviving on minimum energy. Certain gadgets, like special chargers and battery packs, will power-up your device more efficiently than others. For moments when your phone is dying and all you have is your regular charging cable, adjusting your phone's settings to minimize the power it consumes also works in a pinch.

You can find some specific ways to charge your phone quickly below: 

  1. Plug it into a wall outlet instead of a USB port.
  1. Use a portable battery pack.
  1. Buy a special "fast" phone charger.
  1. Switch to low power mode.
  1. Switch to airplane mode.
  1. Let your phone drain completely on its own once a month to the extend the battery life.
  1. Close any background apps.
  1. Stop automatic app updates.
  1. Don't check your phone while it's charging
  1. Keep your phone out of the heat.

For more tricks for making your phone usage more efficient, check out these tips for typing faster.

The 20 Best States for Singles

monkeybusinessimages, iStock via Getty Images
monkeybusinessimages, iStock via Getty Images

Being single on Valentine's Day means you don't have to worry about cards, gifts, or date ideas. But if you'd like to do something romantic on February 14, your chances of snagging a date in time may depend on where you live. WalletHub crunched the numbers to create a definitive list of the best states to be single and looking for love in America.

To come up with its rankings, the personal finance site analyzed numerous data points for each state, including the proportion of single adults, nightlife and entertainment opportunities, and economic factors like cost of living. Combined, these qualities paint of picture of where you're most likely to find, afford, and enjoy a date.

Florida secured the number one position with a total score of 69.21 out of 100. Though it comes in 33rd out of the 50 states for economics, it places third for dating opportunities and fourth for romance and fun, earning it the top slot. It's followed by California with a score of 67.41 and Texas with 66.77. You can check out the top 20 states below, and see how all 50 states ranked at WalletHub.

  1. Florida // 69.21
  1. California // 67.41
  1. Texas // 66.77
  1. New York // 65.29
  1. Pennsylvania // 64.61
  1. Ohio // 63.10
  1. Illinois // 62.61
  1. Wisconsin // 61.13
  1. Massachusetts // 59.11
  1. Michigan // 58.56
  1. Arizona // 57.22
  1. New Jersey // 56.71
  1. Georgia // 56.11
  1. Colorado // 56.01
  1. North Carolina // 55.58
  1. Minnesota // 55.42
  1. Virginia // 54.98
  1. Washington // 54.76
  1. Missouri // 54.29
  1. Nevada // 53.64

The world uses Valentine's Day to celebrate romance, but you can take it as an opportunity to embrace singledom in 2020. If that's your plan, here are some vintage tips for living alone to keep in mind.

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