BBB warns, do not pick up calls from unknown numbers

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - When you miss a call from an unknown number, it's common curiosity to return the call, but don't call back, because if you do, it may cost you.

The Better Business Bureau is warning consumers about the "One ring cell phone scam," an unauthorized charge on your wireless bill.

Your phone rings once, you miss the call, you call back and you're charged for calling a paid service line, or adult entertainment service, outside the country.

"The area codes that appear on the caller ID often originate from the Dominican Republic (809), Jamaica (876), British Virgin Islands (284) and Grenada (473)," according to the BBB.

The BBB says the common charge is $19.95, but each minute adds up and could cost you nine dollars more.

They say the hackers take small amounts from large groups of people so you don't recognize the fees.

The FTC warns consumers that cramming, or a third party charge to your monthly statement, has become a popular way thousands of consumers are getting ripped off. Common examples are a simple text message offering your horoscope or prompting you to open a link.

It's important to read the fine print before you respond to any message.

Experts recommend you keep an eye on your cell phone bill. Look out for unfamiliar words such as "other fees," or "service charge." If you see an unknown charge, call your carrier immediately. The faster you report it, the better chance you have of some of the charges being removed.

A general rule of thumb is, if you're tempted to call the number back, check it first. A quick way to find out if a number is legitimate is to type it into Google and see what comes up. Also, set up a voicemail; if the call is important the caller will leave you a message. If they don't, there's no reason to call back. It's better to be safe than sorry.

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