Don’t Know The Number? Don’t Return The Call – It’s A Scam, Better Business Bureau Warns

This is one ring you won’t treasure. A new scam is targeting the curiosity of consumers and the Better Business Bureau wants to remind you that curiosity killed the cat — or in this case ran up his cell phone bill with excessive charges.

The Better Business Bureau of Chicago and Northern Illinois issued a warning Tuesday to consumers about a new “One Ring” cell phone scam.

The scam uses a computer to send thousands of calls to random cell phone numbers. The call rings once, and then disconnects. When a victim calls the number back, they’re charged $19.95 for an international call and $9 per minute for the duration of the call. The charges then appear on the victim’s monthly cell phone bill.

“As of yet, we have not had any complaints filed but given how rapidly this scam is spreading and growing across the country our opinion is it won’t be long.” Steve J. Bernas, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois, said in the warning.

The BBB advises cell phone users who believe they have been targeted to notify their cell phone provider.

The “One Ring” scam comes on the heels of the National BBB’s warning last week of a new credit card scam using small, relatively unnoticeable charges.

Victims have noticed an unexplained charge of $9.84 from an unfamiliar website on their credit card statements.

The BBB reports scammers are charging stolen credit card numbers with the expectation that many cardholders won’t notice the relatively small charge, and credit card companies won’t go after such a minor sum.

While the charge seems small, scammers will likely be back for more. the BBB warns. Victims are urged to call their bank to report the charges and request a new credit card.

Better Business Bureau Consumer Alert: Growing Concern Over New Cell Phone Scam [Better Business Bureau Chicago]

Scam Alert — Check your credit card for these charges [Better Business Bureau]

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  1. theoriginalcatastrophegirl says:

    also, google is your friend. i google any unrecognized number and usually i can find out if it’s a legitimate call (like my doctor’s office calling from a line i don’t have stored in my phone) or if it’s telemarketing or a credit card fraud scam.
    when i do find a scam number is calling me, i save it to my phone under a list of numbers either called “junk” or “scam” or “TWC telemarketing” so i know not to answer it in the future

  2. SuperSpeedBump says:

    I have a similar approach. If I don’t recognize the number then I don’t answer it… if they don’t leave a voice mail, or the message is nothing important, then I don’t return the call. Works great.

  3. trustnot says:

    I am definitely anti social! I never answer or call back any unknown numbers. On a busy day, I don’t call back or answer numbers I know until it fits into my schedule.

  4. Psylent1 says:

    I use
    It usually tells me who is calling and why I don’t want to answer.

  5. APK1080 says:

    Actually just had this happen twice last night and realized it was a scam after googling the unrecognized number.