Technological advance greatly improves our lives, make the things faster and easier, but at the same time it increases a risk of being us exposed and vulnerable at numerous of tricks. That is the paradox of the times we live in. Sometimes the methods used by scammers are incredible sophisticated so they cannot be detected easily. In certain cases, they are unbelievably simple, and yet frighteningly successful. It seems that recently perpetrators have found a new way of making you say goodbye to huge sums of money. Here is how it works and how to avoid it.
One-Ring Phone Scam – How it works
The new form of scam is called “one-ring phone scam” and feeds on human curiosity. Perpetrators set up their computers to choose a phone number, make a call and hung up after it rings once. Computers call thousands of potential targets by choosing phone numbers at random. Since the phone rings just once, you are very unlikely to answer it. So, what do you do when you see you have missed a call?
Many people will probably feel the impulse to call back to see who it was. This theoretically harmless act may however cost you a lot of money. When you call back this mysterious unknown number, you will be billed not only a $19.95 international call fee but also per minute charges for the unwanted “premium service,” such as an adult chat line, which can be priced at $9 per minute or more.
The practice of third parties placing unauthorized charges on wireless accounts is called “cramming”. The “one-ring phone scam” appears to have originated in the east coast and is spreading across the country rapidly. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the number of such calls is quickly increasing and the agencies expect the problem to continue growing.
One-Ring Phone Scam – How to detect
The calls typically originate from outside the United States. So far, there have been identified several area codes of the calls, including Antigua or Barbuda (area code 268), Antigua (473), the Dominican Republic (809), Jamaica (876), British Virgin Islands (284) or Grenada (473); however, there is no way to tell if the calls are actually coming from these locations.
What should you do when you notice a missed call from an unusual number? The answer is simple – don’t call back. If the call is really intended for you, the caller will call again long enough to give you a chance to answer, will leave a message, text you or find another way to get in touch with you. Also, check your phone bills carefully and contact your carrier as soon as you notice something suspicious. The earlier you report unexplained charge, the better chance there is of having some or all of the charges removed.
more info: BBB