The 473 area code has a unique standing in the North American Numbering Plan (NANP) due to its association with a notable international phone scam, known as the "473 scam" or "One Ring Scam."
Grenada's Area Code: The 473 area code is actually the country code for Grenada, a Caribbean island nation. In the context of the NANP, which includes the United States, Canada, and several Caribbean nations, 473 appears like a typical area code but represents calls originating from Grenada.
Association with Phone Scams: The 473 area code gained notoriety due to its use in a widespread telephone scam. Scammers would call individuals in the United States or Canada and hang up after one ring, hoping the recipients would call back out of curiosity. Returning these calls could result in hefty charges, as they were often premium-rate international calls.
Consumer Awareness and Caution: As a result of this scam, the 473 area code became a focal point for consumer awareness campaigns about phone scams. Authorities and telecommunications providers have warned customers to be cautious about returning missed calls from unknown international numbers, especially those with a 473 area code.
The 473 area code, while a legitimate code for Grenada, serves as a reminder of the evolving nature of international telecommunications and the importance of vigilance against phone-based scams.