REGINA -- People across the province have received numerous phone calls from various international locations, only to have the unknown caller end the call after one ring.

SaskTel acknowledged the increasing amount of scam calls and is advising the public to ignore the calls and not call the number back. If you do answer the call, hang up immediately. Calling the international number back could result in long-distance charges.

“These calls are scam calls, which these bad actors are essentially trying to get individuals to call them back which could then trigger long-distance charges for them, which then essentially pays these bad actors,” said Greg Jacobs, external communications manager for SaskTel.

In a post on its support page, SaskTel said these calls are a national issue which impact people and communications providers across Canada. The majority of these calls are generated by computer-dialers that allow spammers to dial many numbers at once.

“These bad actors are essentially acting like a carrier in an international destination. So they’re trying to generate revenue from your local carrier by paying for that long distance call that you’ve made,” said Jacobs.

The Regina police said it is working on the situation, coordinating closely with cell service providers. Chief Evan Bray confirmed the issue has been reported across the country.

“We ask people to be aware of that, don’t answer if you’re getting a call from a strange number you weren’t expecting,” Bray said. “If you have children who have a cell phone or parents who might need that reminder it’s good to just remind people to be careful.”

SaskTel said that it is currently working with the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) for solutions to combat this problem.

Spam calls can be reported to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC) on their website or by phone. Alternatively there are applications that can be downloaded to help prevent some types of scam calls. Information on preventing these calls can be found on the SaskTel website.