I just got a call from a very weird number. On my phone it displays as "+1 (1) (5 )" and "USA" below.

I answered the call and there was 100% silence. Then about 2 seconds later the call ended.

Next I tried to call the number again, but a default voice from my phone company told me that the number was invalid.

What could this be?

I don't think it's relevant, but I'm from Denmark and I use an iPhone 4S.

  • Caller ID can be set to anything by the caller. It doesn't have to be valid nor there is anything that would define a "valid" caller ID from an invalid one. Jul 1, 2016 at 14:54

3 Answers 3


With CallerID Spoofing, the number shown can be anything the caller wants it to be. Usually these calls are trying to identify something (modems, fax machines, voicemail box, etc.) Hard to know exactly what this particular one was, but often they are harmless just annoying.

There is an app by Whitepages called "Hiya" that you can download that tries to do some checking of the incoming number and x-ref it with known scammers. It will even do some blocking for you if you set it up.


I am getting these "1 Ring" phone calls, one recently from 342-777-5555. I answer but they hang up after one ring. So I looked up the phone number instead of calling back right away. This is what I found out:

“One-ring” cell phone scam can ding your wallet

Here’s how it works: Scammers are using auto-dialers to call cell phone numbers across the country. Scammers let the phone ring once — just enough for a missed call message to pop up.

The scammers hope you’ll call back, either because you believe a legitimate call was cut off, or you will be curious about who called. If you do, chances are you’ll hear something like, “Hello. You’ve reached the operator, please hold.” All the while, you’re getting slammed with some hefty charges — a per-minute charge on top of an international rate. The calls are from phone numbers with three-digit area codes that look like they’re from inside the U.S., but actually are associated with international phone numbers — often in the Caribbean. The area codes include: 268, 284, 473, 664, 649, 767, 809, 829, 849 and 876. If you get a call like this, don’t pick it up and don’t call the number back. There’s no danger in getting the call: the danger is in calling back and racking up a whopping bill.

If you're tempted to call back, do yourself a favor and check the number through online directories first. They can tell you where the phone number is registered.


  • 2
    Please be sure to post the source of your repost. It wasn't really clear that you were posting someone else's words which could have been taken as plagiarism. I realize your word choice did kind of point to it being an article though and the wording sounded familiar, so I found the original to link for you. Aug 31, 2017 at 19:32

So what is this caller id?

Well the called id is definitely invalid since anyone with a call center can change the caller id of the call this is probably one of the two following things:

  • The caller set it that way and your service provider identified the +1 which is the USA area code and that's why it says USA.
  • Your service provider noticed that it is a number with no id but it did come from a call center in the US and attached the "+1 (1) (5 )" for there own reasons (Carriers do this to try and inform the user with as much info as possible).

So what is this?

A famous marketing technique to detect valid phone numbers is to call them not using any caller id and check if they answer which would indicate they are valid. Since this is a automated system there is no voice on the other side.

  • So with other words. OP is going to get a lot of advertising-calls now, just because he answered the phone-call? Is there a way to prevent this? Is it even legal for companies to do this?
    – O'Niel
    Jul 1, 2016 at 14:05
  • 1
    @O'Niel - It depends, he is just in a database that is verifying its leads. You can prevent this when you know what company is doing this. I do not know the legal issues behind it. (In my country there is a big fight over it since the companies claim the user entered and agreed to get advertising content and that is a type of content in the agreement) Jul 1, 2016 at 14:08
  • 1
    A little update regarding this: I have not been called a single time by any kind of advertising.
    – KaareZ
    Feb 26, 2017 at 9:27

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