CINCINNATI Wed. January 29, 2014 - BBB’s across the country are seeing a rash of “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 phones having Caller ID it will show as Unknown 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 voicemail. So, you try calling back only to find no one is answering or there is some noise on the other end.
It's called "The One Ring Scam" as part of a practice called phone cramming. Cellphone plans are billed through automation and usage on both incoming and outgoing call. You are recognized if you answer the call, and a billing statement is passed through from the service provider on the other end of the line. The scammers count on that fact that consumers don’t always closely look at their monthly statements which may included a premium rate of $19.95 plus international fees, or that if they do, consumers might assume the charges are legitimate.
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 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 or an area code you’re not familiar with, leave it alone. Start with someone can Trust. Visit bbb.org.