Burnsville, Minnesota – March 6, 2014 – As National Consumer Protection Week (Mar 2- 8) continues, Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota (BBB) turns its attention to the favorite tool of many scammers: the telephone. Each and every day, shady operators work the phones to defraud consumers and business owners. Though there’s no way – short of disconnecting your phone – to protect yourself completely from phone scams, there are things you can do to reduce your risk of becoming the next victim.
If you receive a phone call from someone who makes threats, tells you that you’ve won a cash prize (or sweepstakes) or demands immediate payment in regards to a debt you’re unfamiliar with, those are all signs the call is likely fraudulent. If you receive calls like this, or requests for personal information, BBB advises the following:
Another phone scam which has been making the rounds again lately is the “one-ring” scam. This scam targets cellphone owners and tries to entice people to dial an unknown number back by ringing just once and then disconnecting. People who return these calls don’t realize they’re calling international numbers – with normal-looking prefixes such as 473, 809, 876, 284 and 268 – in the Caribbean, where charges can add up quickly. If you receive a call from an unknown number, it’s best to ignore it and let it go to voicemail.
Suspicious phone calls can be reported to BBB (bbb.org) or the Federal Trade Commission (ftc.gov).