Simply answering the phone or calling back an unrecognized number can hit you in the wallet. There’s a new scam the Better Business Bureau is warning people about. As our Iris St. Meran explains, if you’re not sure, letting the call go to voicemail may be your best option.
NATIONWIDE -- It’s happened to everyone. You get a call from a number you don’t recognize. Do you answer it, call it back or do nothing? Well a new phone scam has the Better Business Bureau warning you to think before you answer the phone. It’s being referred to as the “One Ring” or “Don’t Call Back” scam.
Upstate New York Better Business Bureau Public Relations Director Peggy Penders said, “This particular scam, if you were to answer, you are going to be charged for international collect call fees. So you do not want to call back and you don’t want to answer.”
Penders says this technique is called “cramming” where you could also be charged for unwanted premium services or be connected to paid entertainment services or chat lines. Those charges are usually around twenty dollars on your phone bill.
The numbers have been based from the Caribbean, in places like Antigua/Barbuda (268), Jamaica (876), the Dominican Republic (809), the Virgin Islands (284) and Grenada (473).
“What they’re really hoping is that you’re not going to be paying attention to the details on your bill and you’re going to pay this crammed fee. This international call that you accidently answered or did call back even if it was for a minute or two,” Penders explained.
Even if you’re on a Do Not Call list you can still be targeted. Penders says they’re choosing numbers randomly, but it’s unclear how they’re getting them.
If you believe you are a victim you should call your carrier.
“Most cell phone carriers allow you to dispute a charge up to 60 days,” Penders added, “So it’s very important that you’re keeping a continuous eye on your cell phone bill just as you are with your credit card.”
It’s that added attention that really can make a difference. The Better Business Bureau says after you’ve reported a charge to your carrier, you can file a complaint with them. The bureau may be able to help you get a resolution.
For more information visit upstateny.bbb.org.