January 30, 2014

Calling back the number could cost you big

 (Lexington, KY) – If your cell phone rings one time and stops, don't be tempted to call the number right back to see who called….you could end up with a big bill to pay!

Better Business Bureau serving Central & Eastern Kentucky is warning cell phone users about a new scam that can result in unauthorized charges appearing on their monthly wireless statement. Consumers in several states, including Kentucky, have reported getting calls on their mobile phones during which the caller hangs up. When cell phone owners call back, they are connected to a paid international adult entertainment service or chat line located outside the U.S.  Those charges later appear on cell phone bills.

A Scott County woman tells your BBB she received a call from the 268 area code, which is the area code for Antigua in the West Indies. She did not return the call after researching the number first.  A Fayette County business owner received at least two similar calls from the same number in the 473 area code, which is in Grenada. He also did not answer it, researching the area code first. When he warned his employees, several of them reported similar calls.

Other area codes that appear on the caller ID often originate from the Dominican Republic (809), Jamaica (876), and the British Virgin Islands (284).

"The bottom line is, if you are one of those folks who instantly dials back to see whose call you missed, you may want to change that habit," said Jack Frank, President & CEO of the BBB serving Central & Eastern Kentucky. To protect yourself from this scam:

  • Don't answer calls from unfamiliar area codes. Check the area codes before deciding whether to call back.
  • Be aware that there are many 3-digit area codes (mostly in the Caribbean) that connect callers to international telephone numbers.
  • If you do not otherwise make international calls, ask your local or wireless phone company to block outgoing international calls on your line.
  • Check your wireless bills carefully and inform your carrier if you spot any for unauthorized charges.

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Contact the Better Business Bureau serving Central & Eastern Kentucky to check out companies, charities, or to report problems and scams by calling the Lexington office at (859) 259-1008 or toll-free 1-800-866-6668.  Services are also available by logging on to


CONTACT: Heather Clary, Director of Communications – (859) 519-4700