Cellphone Scam Could Cost You $19.95, Plus $9 Per Minute

What's Hot


The Most Sinful City in the U.S. Is … (Hint: It’s Not Vegas)Family

How a Mexican Tariff Will Boost the Cost of 6 Common PurchasesFamily

This Free Software Brings Old Laptops Back to LifeMore

How to Protect Yourself From the ‘Can You Hear Me?’ Phone ScamFamily

Report: Walmart to Begin Selling CarsCars

Where to Sell Your Stuff for Top DollarAround The House

Is Your TV Tracking You? Here’s How to Tell — and Prevent ItAround The House

11 Staging Tips to Help You Get Top Dollar When Selling Your HomeAround The House

21 Restaurants Offering Free Food Right NowSaving Money

20 Simple Hacks to Make Your Stuff Last LongerAround The House

4 Car Insurers That Might Raise Rates Even When the Accident Wasn’t Your FaultCars

How to Invest If Trump Kills the ‘Fiduciary Rule’Grow

12 Surprising Ways to Wreck Your Credit ScoreBorrow

8 Tuition-Free U.S. CollegesCollege

These Are the 25 Best Jobs in the U.S.Jobs & Work

9 Secret Ways to Use Toothpaste That Will Make You SmileAround The House

The 2 Types of Music That Most Improve Dog BehaviorFamily

The calls often originate in the Caribbean or some other place outside the United States.

Beware the “one-ring phone scam.”

Scammers know that plenty of us don’t even think twice before we return missed calls, and now they’ve figured out a way to take advantage of that. This scam could cost you a $19.95 international calling fee and $9 or more per minute, according the Better Business Bureau.

Here’s how it works: Your cellphone rings once and then the call disconnects. You call back and are then connected “to a paid international adult entertainment service, ‘chat’ line, or other premium service located outside the country,” the BBB says.

Most calls originate outside the U.S. and are made by computers that dial thousands of numbers at a time.

Besides our tendency to automatically return calls, the scam works because no one tries to sell us anything or obtain personal information when we do call back. While we’re on the call, trying to figure out who called and why, our bill keeps growing.

John Matarese at ABC Action News in Tampa, Fla., reports:

We are receiving emails from people all over reporting that they have received these unexpected calls from the Caribbean.

I received one to my cellphone during the Super Bowl, as did two producers in our newsroom.

Luckily, none of us returned the phone call. Had we hit “return call,” there is no knowing what type of charge would have shown up on our bills.

What should you do if you receive a call from a number you don’t recognize? Don’t call back. If you do feel the need to return the call, the BBB suggests you first plug the number into a search engine to investigate the source.

Have you had any one-ring calls on your cellphone recently? Have you been caught in this scam? Tell us about your experience below or on our Facebook page.

Stacy Johnson

It's not the usual blah, blah, blah

I know... every site you visit wants you to subscribe to their newsletter. But our news and advice is actually worth reading! For 25 years, I've been making people richer without making their eyes glaze over. You'll be glad you did. I guarantee it!

💰🗣📰

Read Next: 10 Best Places to Retire in 2017

Check Out Our Hottest Deals!

We're always adding new deals and coupons that'll save you big bucks. See the deals to the right and hundreds more in our Deals section.

Click here to explore 1,871 more deals!