Don’t answer that “missed” call! It could cost you
Wow! It almost happened to me over the weekend and I almost fell for it. My cell phone rang once and I did not answer the call. I looked at the caller ID and wondered who it could be. It was a number I did not recognize and the area code was unfamiliar. Being the curious type, as I have been in the past, my natural instinct would be to call the number back and see who's call I missed. But, then I remembered hearing on the news about a new phone scam that could cost big bucks!
The Better Business Bureau recently issued a fraud warning for what is known as "one ring scam" . Here's how it works.
The phone scammers (usually from foreign countries) use automatic dialers to randomly call phone numbers. After the first ring, they disconnect. The scammers hope you'll see that number in your missed call log and be curious enough to return the call.
If you make that call and they got you! What happens next is that you'll be connected to an expensive international hotline, often an an "adult entertainment" service. These services charge as much as $19.95 as soon as you connect. There may also be a sizable per-minute fee ($9.99 or more). Those costs typically show up on your phone bill as "premium services."
According to the Better Business Bureau (BBB), those area codes include Antigua (268), British Virgin Islands (284), Dominican Republic (809), Grenada (473), Jamaica (876) and Turks & Caicos Islands (649).
The BB says "If it’s unknown, leave it alone. Start with someone you can trust. Visit bbb.org.