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BBB warns of 'one ring' phone scam

Jan 30, 2014 - From staff reports

If residents receive a call on their cellphones preceded by just one or two rings, chances are it is part of a new "one ring" phone scam spreading quickly across the United States.

The Better Business Bureau reports that international scammers have programmed computers to blast out millions of calls to cellphone numbers, ring once or twice, then disconnect. The objective is to make the consumer curious enough to dial that number back.

The "gotcha" happens when a person returns the call. The cellphone owner could be charged $19.95 for the international call fee itself and $9 per minute thereafter.

"Oftentimes consumers say they hear music and then advertising, so they think nothing of staying on the phone. It's easy to see how quickly charges for these international calls can add up," said Shelley Polansky, vice president of communications for Better Business Bureau Serving Northern Colorado and Wyoming.

Possible victims should alert their phone carriers and keep an eye on their cellphone bills. People can also opt out of all third-party billing to their phones.

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