LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Returning a phone call after one ring may tempt you, but don’t do it!
BBBs across the country are seeing a rash of reports of ‘ring and runs’ or “The One Ring Scam” on cell phones recently, where returning a missed call from an Unknown number could cost you. The scam is creating a lot of buzz.
Here is how it works:
Your cell phone rings once, then hangs up. The person does not leave a voicemail. You check your caller ID and it says unknown, or it is an area code you are not familiar with.
Curious, you call back. No one answers, but there is a strange sound on the other end.
This “One Ring Scam” is a part of a practice called phone cramming. Victims are subsequently billed not only for the incoming international call if they answer, but also the unwanted “premium service,” which typically appears as a $19.95 charge on one’s cell phone bill. In some cases, crammers may only put a small charge, so as not to arouse suspicion.
Victims have reported calls originating from the Caribbean Islands, like Grenada, Antigua, Jamaica, and the British Virgin Islands. Area codes include 268, 274, 473, 809, and 876. The scammers are using computers to call thousands of cell phones.
BBB warns if you think you’ve fallen for the scam, immediately notify your cell phone provider and keep an eye on your phone bill. The earlier the fraud is documented, the better your chances for having some or all of the charges removed.
Also, if you are getting unwanted calls, contact your service provider to find out your options for blocking those numbers.
Bottom line though – if it’s Unknown, leave it alone. Start with someone can Trust. Visit bbb.org.