DENVER – The Better Business Bureau of Denver/Boulder is warning cell phone
users about a new scam that can add unauthorized charges to their monthly
The scam has been dubbed the “one ring” scam because victims’ phones often ring only once before the call is disconnected. If a victim tries to return the call, they are charged a $19.95 international call fee, plus $9 a minute for the duration of the call.
“This scam preys on people who are curious
about an unfamiliar number, which can often be business owners or young
people,” said Su Hawk, president and CEO for the BBB of Denver/Boulder. “Once
connected, they may be put on hold for a long time, increasing the charge to
their phone bill.”
Victims have told BBB that the calls appear to come from Caribbean nations including Grenada, Antigua, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica or the British Virgin Islands. Area codes for the calls include 268, 274, 473, 809 and 876. However, some calls may be domestic.
BBB advises consumers to take note of the phone number the calls come from and notify their cell phone carriers immediately if they believe they have been victims of the scam. By documenting the fraud, consumers may have a better chance of getting the charges removed.
The practice of third parties placing unauthorized charges on wireless accounts is called “cramming.” The Federal Trade Commission and Federal Communications Commission have reviewed thousands of cramming complaints, and they expect more.
BBB recommends if you receive a call displaying an unfamiliar out-of-state telephone number on your caller ID, ignore the call and do not call back. Check your wireless bills carefully and inform your carrier if you spot any unauthorized charges.
BBB tips for avoiding cell phone fraud include:
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About the BBB
The BBB is an unbiased nonprofit organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. Businesses that earn BBB Accreditation contractually agree and adhere to the organization’s high standards of ethical business behavior. The BBB provides objective advice, BBB Business Reviews, BBB Charity Reports and educational information on topics affecting marketplace trust. To further promote trust, your BBB also offers dispute resolution services for consumers and businesses. The first BBB was founded in 1912. Today, there are 113 local, independent BBBs across the U. S. and Canada. Please visit denver.bbb.org for more information.