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News & Alerts

Caribbean Phone Scam Reported by Better Business Bureau

February 6, 2014
 
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is warning cell phone users to be on the lookout for a new “one ring” scam that could result in unauthorized charges on your wireless phone bill.
 
According to the BBB, a remote computer is sending thousands of calls to random cell phone numbers. The phone only rings once and then disconnects.
 
Some curious customers will then return the missed call and will immediately be charged $19.95 for an international call fee and an additional $9-per-minute charge, according to a news release from the BBB.
 
Consumers who have been scammed report the calls come from the Caribbean Islands, including Grenada, Antigua, Jamaica and the British Virgin Islands, the BBB said.
 
Calls typically originate from outside the United States. One woman told the BBB her caller ID indicated the call originated in Antigua or Barbuda (area code 268). Other consumers across the country report calls from the Dominican Republic (809), Jamaica (876), British Virgin Islands (284) and Grenada (473).
 
The practice of third parties placing unauthorized charges on wireless accounts is called “cramming.” The Better Business Bureau recommends if you don’t recognize an out-of-state telephone number on your caller ID, ignore it and if you do answer, do not call back.
 
If you have received a call to your cell phone from an unrecognized number beginning with one of the above area codes, DO NOT ANSWER and DO NOT RETURN THE CALL.  If you answer the call by mistake, it is important to contact your wireless provider immediately to watch for any unknown charges.
 
Please let us know if you have any questions.