Don’t Be Fooled! ‘Polite’ People Targeted in ‘One Ring’ Cell Phone Scam

iPhone+5+Missed+Call+With+Alert*Oops! I wonder who that was? Let’s see…

No! Don’t call back. Scam artists are hoping you will do just that. But when the phone bill comes in you find you’ve placed a pricey call to where????

The ‘one ring’ cellphone scam calls users and hangs up without giving them enough time to answer, then tricks them into dialing pricey foreign chat lines.

The Better Business Bureau has issued a warning about the scam, which seems to target mobile-phone owners in the U.S. although theoretically, it could work in Canada, but a loophole in U.S. trade law makes American users more tempting targets.

This is how the scam works: A computer program originating outside the U.S. dials American customers and lets the phone ring exactly once before hanging up. This is enough time to register on a phone’s missed-calls screen, but typically not enough time for a user to actually answer.

These calls are often from countries in and around the Caribbean such as Antigua, Barbuda, Grenada, and the Dominican Republic. As with the U.S. and Canada, the country code for these countries begins with “1,” which is often enough to fool unsuspecting Americans into thinking they’re receiving domestic calls.

Calling back is generally not the best idea, as the lines connect to premium chat lines — usually involving phone sex. In addition to charging a $20 international calling fee, these lines also charge users for each minute spent connected.

Thank you to Yahoo News for sections of this article.

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