The Better Business Bureau is warning consumers about the “One Ring” cell phone scam that can add unauthorized charges to your monthly bill.
Here’s what happens: your phone rings once and then the caller hangs up. You don't recognize the number so you return the call. If it's the scam, you can be charged a $19.95 international call fee, plus $9 a minute for as long as you're on the call, according to the BBB. The scammer is counting on people's curiosity.
Most of the calls are originating in Caribbean nations, including Antigua , Jamaica and the British Virgin Isles, the BBB reports. The area codes include 268, 274, 473, 809 and 876.
Toby Barfield, president and CEO of the BBB serving Eastern North Carolina, said that so far his organization hasn't received any complaints in North Carolina, but that the scam is spreading rapidly across the country.
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The first way to protect yourself is to ignore any out-of-state number on your caller ID; don’t call back. Next, be sure to check your bills for any charges you don’t recognize and report them to your carrier. The sooner you report the fraud, the more likely it will be removed.