'One ring' cell phone scam hits consumers in Baltimore

February 07, 2014|By Tim Swift, The Baltimore Sun

The Better Business Bureau is warning consumers about a "one ring" telephone scam affecting cellphone users in Baltimore and elsewhere.

Victims of the scam receive a call from unknown number, usually from countries in the Caribbean. The call ends after one ring and no message is left. If the number is called back, the caller is then liable for numerous fees and charges.

The bureau advises consumers to avoid returning calls from unknown numbers, especially from certain area codes.

The area codes, which can operate like 900 toll calls, include 268, 284, 473, 809 and 876. Charges can include a $19.95 international call fee and $9 or more for each minute spent on the call. The scammers try to keep callers on the line for as long as possible, often times via automated prompts.

Johns Hopkins Hospital warned its employees of the scam in an e-mail Friday.

timswift@baltsun.com

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