If you receive a call on your cellphone preceded by just one or two rings, chances are it’s part of a new One Ring phone scam spreading across the U.S. faster than a summer wildfire. The alert is coming from the Better Business Bureau of Wyoming.
Shelley Polansky is the bureau's vice president of communications. She says, here's how it works. 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 you curious enough to dial that number back.
She says the “gotcha” moment happens when you return the call. You could be charged $19.95 for the international call fee itself and $9 per minute thereafter. She went on to say that sometimes consumers hear music and then advertising, so they think nothing of staying on the phone. So, she says, it's easy to see how quickly charges for these international calls can add up.
Consumers who have been duped by the calls have reported calls coming from the Dominican Republic and Jamaica, which are 800 prefixes, the British Virgin Islands, which is 284, and Grenada, 473, as well as Minnesota and Canadian area codes. She says if you think you've been a victim of the One Ring scam, you should immediately alert your phone carrier and keep an eye on your cellphone bill. And, opt out of all third-party billing to your phone, if you haven't already done so.