Cellphone users are being targeted in a new scam that preys on the natural curiosity of humans.
The Better Business Bureau reported Monday that consumers across the country have received calls on their mobile phones in which the caller hangs up after just one ring. A recipient returning the call is connected to an international adult entertainment service or chat line that carries a $19.95 charge.
“The objective is to make you curious about a call you missed and return it right away,” said Jim Hegarty, president of the BBB serving southwest Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota and Kansas. “This is being called the 'one ring' scam because the perpetrators program their computers to blast out thousands of calls to random cellphone numbers, ring once, and then disconnect.”
The area codes appearing on the caller ID are often associated with the Dominican Republic (809), Jamaica (876), British Virgin Islands (284) and Grenada (473).
If you don't recognize an out-of-state telephone number on the caller ID, Hegarty's advice is to just ignore it. Do not call back. Always check wireless bills carefully and inform the carrier if there are any unauthorized charges, he said.