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Better Business Bureau ®
Start With Trust®
In West Tennessee, North Mississippi & East Arkansas
BBB Warns Of '1-Ring' Cell Phone Scam
February 04, 2014

Cell phone userMemphis, TN, Feb., 2014 - BBBs are receiving reports of a one ring phone call scam making its way across the nation. The recent spate of ‘ring and run’ calls reported by consumers is being received on cell phones. 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 then hangs up.
  • Your Caller ID shows “Unknown” or a long distance number from an area code you don’t recognize. It may look like a toll-free number, but it isn’t.
  • No voicemail is left.
  • You’re curious and return the missed call only to be immediately charged an international call fee of $19.95 and an additional $9-per-minute.

“The practice of third parties placing unauthorized charges on wireless accounts is called ‘cramming,’” said Randy Hutchinson, president of BBB serving the Mid-South. “If you don’t recognize an out-of-state telephone number on your caller ID, ignore it and don’t call back.

Victims have reported calls originating from the Caribbean Islands, like Grenada, Antigua, Jamaica, and the British Virgin Islands.

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 Trust. Visit bbb.org.