The Better Business Bureau warns cell phone users of scam


I am posting the info from the Boston BBB site, but this will probably spread to a national alert before long so I am posting it now so that people can be alert of the scam since I have gotten calls from these numbers and thankfully did not answer. The main thing to do if you get contacts by a number you don’t know is to let it go to voice mail, it is the easiest and best way to screen calls. If it is a local number than it might be alright to answer it, for example I live in Rhode Island in the USA so if I get a call from a 401 area code than I know that I can probably answer it and have it be safe, but if it is a number from out of state I am way less likely to answer the call especially since most of the contacts I have out of state I have the number stored in my phone and I know it is okay to answer.

Essentially in a nutshell all you have to do is use common sense, and if you are not caught up on proper phone safety tips then I recommend you go to a web site and read up on the basics of keeping yourself away from becoming a victim of a scam, because it happens far too often and it really doesn’t need to. And the sickening part is that people target the desperate and vulnerable such as people looking for help or the elderly who may not have the mental where abouts to know better than to look for fraud. One of these days ideally we can have our peace of mind back. But with electronics being so easy to access it will probably be a long time until order is restored.

The Better Business Bureau is warning cell phone users in Massachusetts, Maine, Rhode Island, and Vermont about a scam that can result in a $20 charge.

Users have been receiving calls from a unknown caller that hangs up after one ring. When the owner of the cell phone tries to call the number back they are billed $19.95 for an international call fee.

Some people hear music or advertising as they are unknowingly connected to a caller-paid toll service or a line out of the country. This practice has become known as cramming

If you are victim of this scam you are advised to contact your cell phone carrier immediately and check your bill for unauthorized charges.

The Caribbean area codes that appear on the caller ID have been reported to be from the Dominican Republic (809), Jamaica (876), British Virgin Islands (284), Grenada (473), Antigua (268), Dominica (767) and more.

BBB advises the following tips to avoid the scam:

· Don’t Answer Unknown Calls. If you don’t recognize an out-of-state telephone number on your caller ID, ignore it.

· Add Restrictions to Your Account. Contact your service provider to see if you can restrict third-party billing on your account. Inform other users on your cell phone plan about this scam, and to ignore phone numbers they do not recognize.

· Understand Your Bills. Be sure to keep track of what services you pay for, that way you will be able to determine if any charges are unauthorized. By keeping a close eye on monthly statements, you will be less likely to become victim of these scams. Monitoring your bill is the best way to determine whether or not you’ve been affected. The sooner you spot any unexpected charges, the sooner you can stop them.

· Report Incorrect Charges Promptly. Many cardholders are protected by zero liability policies set in place by credit card companies. Request a new card if you notice unauthorized charges. Fraudulent charges mean your card information has been compromised. Be on the safe side and request a new card. Always be cautious about disclosing your account number on the telephone or online unless you know the person you’re dealing with represents a reputable company.

For more information you can trust, visit us at bbb.org/boston.

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Posted on February 4, 2014, in Electronics, Technology and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Thanks for sharing and helping us get the word out. Definitely don’t want anymore consumers falling for this scam!

    • Not a problem. Is there anything else that you would like to add to this that maybe may have been missed? I want to help people as much as possible, so if there is something you want to add or can add that isn’t covered in here feel free to post it.

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