BBB Warns "One Ring" Scam May Have Your Number

January 29, 2014

Baltimore, Md. - January 29, 2014 - Better Business Bureau serving Greater Maryland is warning cell phone users about a new scam that can result in unauthorized charges appearing on their monthly wireless statement.

It's called the "One Ring" scam because the perpetrators program computers to send thousands of calls to random cell phone numbers, ring once and then disconnect. The scammers then hope you are curious enough about the call that you dial back.

If and when the cell phone owner returns the call they are charged premium and international call fees. Some consumers across the U.S. report finding an international fee of $19.95, along with a $9 per minute premium call charge on their monthly invoice.

"While our lines haven't yet lit up with callers who fell for the scam, we are hearing claims of the single call spread. Just imagine how fast fees rack up when you're listening to music on hold," said Angie Barnett, president/CEO, BBB serving Greater Maryland.

Consumers who have been duped report that calls coming from Caribbean Islands including Grenada, Antigua, Jamaica and the British Virgin Islands.

If a cell phone subscriber thinks he/she may have fallen for the scam, report it immediately to the carrier and keep an eye on future cell phone bills. Document the day, time and number received, along with the day and time the call was returned and any additional or pertinent information.

"As they say, curiosity killed the cat. Don't let a one ring call get the best of you or your pocketbook," cautioned Barnett.

For more information on scams, go to