Recently, the Better Business Bureau issued a fraud alert informing consumers of the “one ring scam". This was brought to their attention after many people all over the country started to complain about “premium service fees” that were being added to their phone bills.
After some investigation consumers realized they had been victims of a new form of scamming in which con artists decided to bank (pun intended) on your curiosity of whose call you’ve missed and transfer you to expensive international hotlines which leave consumers with unauthorized charges on their phone bills.
The worst part of this scam is that they don’t even need your credit card number or banking information at all to steal your money, all they need is for you to hit “call”. Yikes! Katherine Hutt, director of communications at the Council of Better Business Bureaus says this "Ring and Run" scam is so effective because it’s so simple. Typically what happens is, the con artists call from strange international numbers and they only let it ring once. You’ll see a missed call and 9/10 times you’ll call back and you’ll hear something along the lines of "Hold on for the operator."
This is a common trick used to keep consumers on the line for as long as they can which means you’ll be racking up those extra per-minute charges. The longer they can keep you on the line the more you’ll be charged. And it’s not always the same style of recording or the same hotline either. And to be honest, it’s true. I can think back myself to tons of random numbers I’ve called back throughout the years just out of mere curiosity and these con artists know that! Katherine’s advice to consumers, "If it's unknown, leave it alone. If you don't recognize the number, don't call back."
These scammers target mostly those who have mobile devices because every cellphone has caller ID and a missed call log. The only way to prevent this is to stop and think before you return any calls. Do a quick google search, look up the area code or just ignore anyone you don’t know. Also, check your statements as soon as you received them and immediately report any discrepancies. Do you think you’ve been a victim of the "one ring scam"?
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