The Better Business Bureau is reporting a another common phone scam you should be familiar with – the one ring missed call. Callers are reportedly getting one ring from an unknown, international number which then charges them to call back, usually, to a ‘chat’ line or a paid for telephone adult entertainment service.
Some victims are reporting a $19.95 bill just to make the return call, and an additional charge of up to $9 per minute. Others are reportedly being charged small sums in order to not arouse suspicion.
To make the scam profitable, computers are used to call thousands of numbers and hanging up after one ring. This ensures that the recipient gets a missed call while safeguarding the caller from a potential connection fee. According to victims, the calls are coming Canada and the Caribbean Islands that also have the +1 country code – which, to an unfamiliar eye, may look like an US call.
Calls typically originate from outside the United States. One woman told 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).
If you get an unfamiliar missed calls, you should do a reverse search to see if they are indeed from an area where you are expecting a call. Make sure the search include international locations. You can also wait to see if the number allows your phone to ring multiple times. If calls are important, a voicemail is typically left – or the caller will call back.