New Castle News

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January 31, 2014

Better Business Bureau reports cellphone scam

NEW CASTLE — The Better Business Bureau is warning cellphone users about a new scam.

Called the “one ring” scam, it can result in unauthorized charges and international fees appearing on monthly wireless statements.

According to the bureau, fraudsters program computers to send thousands of calls to random cellphone numbers and only ring once before disconnecting. Scammers are targeting people’s curiosity and hope they will return the missed call, despite it being from an unknown number.

Cellphone users who return the missed call report being connected to music and advertising messages or an international adult entertainment service or chat line.

Unknowingly, just by returning the call, cellphone users are charged $19.95 as an international call fee and an additional $9 per minute. Consumers who have been duped report the area codes originating from the Caribbean Islands including Grenada (473), Dominican Republic (809), Jamaica (876), the British Virgin Islands (284) and Antigua (268).

Anyone who thinks he may have been a victim of this scam should immediately alert his cellphone carrier and monitor wireless bills for any unauthorized charges. The earlier fraud is detected, the better the chance of having some or all of the charges removed, the Better Business Bureau reported.

The agency also noted the best way to avoid this scam is to not answer the phone for unknown telephone numbers, especially if the area code is out of state or from a different country. And these phone calls should not be returned.

More information on identifying and preventing scams is available at bbb.org.

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