Have you recently been getting calls from odd numbers where the phone rings only once and there's no message?  You're not alone.  It's the newest scam and it's spreading like crazy.  The Better Business Bureau put out an alert about it and we also got an email from a local BBB employee:

Good Morning Guys,


I was on my way to work and heard you talking about the one-ring cell phone scam. I work at the Better Business Bureau in the Quad Cities and here is more information to answer maybe some of the questions you raised earlier. 
 
The funny thing about it is that both my husband and myself have received these types of calls in the past week prior really knowing what these calls were about. Luckily neither of us answered the call or called it back.  

The "One Ring" is where 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.

 

This scam has hit people on the east coast (Connecticut) in the earlier part of this month. There was a report issued by one of the Better Business Bureau offices out there as well. 

 

When the cell phone owner returns the call, they are charged $19.95 for the international call fee. After that, there is a $9.00 per minute charge and its been reported the caller may first hear hear music then maybe advertising but the goal is to try and keep them on the line as long as possible so that the charges will add up. 


The practice of third parties placing unauthorized charges on wireless accounts is called “cramming.”  The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Federal Communications Commission (FCC) have reviewed thousands of complaints about the practice, and expect the problem to grow.

 

These reported are coming from the Caribbean Islands and 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).

 

If a person thinks they may have been scammed, they should immediately alert their cell phone carrier and keep an eye on their cell phone bill. The earlier they document the fraud, the better their chances of having some or all of the charges removed.

 

The best advice to give is 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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