BBB warns of new 'one ring' cellphone scam

GREENVILLE, S.C. (WYFF) —The Better Business Bureau 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 scammers 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 return the call right away.

"As of yet, we have not had any complaints filed, but given how rapidly this scam is spreading and growing across the country, our opinion is it won't be long." said Vee Daniel, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Upstate SC.

When the cellphone owner returns the call, they are charged $19.95 for the international call fee. After that, there is a $9 per-minute charge. "Often they will first hear music, then maybe advertising, but it's easy to see how quickly these charges can add up," noted Daniel.

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

People who think they may have fallen for this scam, should immediately alert their cellphone carrier and keep an eye on their cellphone bill. The earlier they document the fraud, the better their chances of having some or all of the charges removed.

Daniel added, "To be as safe as possible, the best thing to do if your phone rings and it's an international number you don't recognize, don't answer and don't call back."

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