(FRANKFORT, Ky.) – The Kentucky State Police is warning cell phone users to be aware of a new scam called “The One-Ring Scam.”
Better Business Bureaus (BBB) across the country are seeing a rash of reports of ‘ring and runs’ on cell phones where returning a missed call from an unknown number may cost you.
KSP spokesman Sgt. Michael Webb says scammers profit from individuals who are curious enough to return that missed call.
“A computer program originating outside the U.S. dials American customers and lets the phone ring one or two times before hanging up,” says Webb. “This is enough time to register on a phone’s missed-calls screen, but typically not enough time for a user to actually answer.”
“Many people who receive a missed call will return the call and that is when their account is charged approximately $20 for the call and $9 for every additional minute.”
BBB experts say this is called ‘phone cramming,’ when automated dialers send out thousands of calls to random numbers. Most of the area codes are from the Caribbean Islands, but BBB says there is no way for them to really know where the calls are coming from.
Webb advises citizens to refrain from returning calls they do not recognize.
“We are encouraging people to review their cell phone statements and contact their cellular carrier immediately if they notice unauthorized charges,” adds Webb.
The following is a list of area codes the BBB said is connected with the scam:
- Dominican Republic - 809
- Jamaica - 876
- British Virgin Islands - 284
- Grenada - 473
- Aruba - 297
- Antigua - 473