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 might be tempting, but it could cost you.
Here is how it works:
Your phone rings once, maybe twice and these days with most of our phones having Caller ID it will show as Unknown or an long distance area code you’re not familiar with on the screen.
By the time you answer it, no one is on the other end of the phone and they will not leave a voice mail. So, you try calling back only to find no one is answering or there is some weird noise on the other end.
It’s called “The One Ring Scam” as 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. In some cases, crammers may only put a small charge of several dollars, so as not to arouse suspicion.
Several BBB’s across the country are reporting this is happening to consumers as the number pops up as Unknown or an international phone number. Victims have reported calls originating from the Caribbean Islands, like Grenada, Antigua, Jamaica, and the British Virgin Islands. A Cincinnati resident recently received such a call stating the number originated from Antigua.
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.
Bottom line – if it’s unknown, leave it alone. Start with someone you can trust. Visit bbb.org.