7On your side: '1-Ring' cell phone scam - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

7On your side: '1-Ring' cell phone scam

All it takes is one ring to incur a fee, if you call a number back on your cell phone, and the local Better Business Bureau is warning consumers.

It's called the '1-ring' scam, and if your curiosity gets the best of you, you could become a victim. It works like this: your cell phone usually rings only once before the call is disconnected.

Carmen Million, president of the local Better Business Bureau, says if you call the number back to see who it is, you'll get charged a fee.

"When people contact that number back, they are immediately charged a $19.95 fee and then for every minute they stay after that on the phone, they're charged $9 a minute, and basically, what consumers don't realize is that they're calling a foreign country... that's what these scammers are wanting you to do," said Million.

Million suggests rather than dial the number, Google it on the Internet and try to find out where it originates.

"If you receive a call from a number you're not familiar with, don't immediately contact them back. Investigate the number. You can Google it. You can call the Better Business Bureau, but definitely investigate before you return that call," said Million.

Also, she suggests immediately calling your cell phone provider, if you think you're a victim.  That way you're more likely to avoid charges on your bill.

"Once you receive your bill, you should see a charge, and the best thing to do is call your cell phone company and report it to them that you've been scammed, and because they are investigating these types of scam,s and they are not only hitting our area, but we do know they are hitting other consumers around the world," said Million.

The call area codes include 268, 473, 809, 876 and 284. Though she says some calls may be domestic. The main message: when in doubt, don't pick up or call back.

It's also important to keep a close eye on your monthly statements in order to see if there are unauthorized, third party charges.  

For more information check out the Federal Trade Commission's web site.

Copyright 2014 KPLC All rights reserved

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