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BBB Warns of Cell Phone Scam

Logo for ColesBetter Business Bureaus across the country, including Coles’ client BBB serving Central Indiana, are seeing a rash of the “One Ring Scam” on cell phones. Returning a missed call from an unknown phone number might be tempting, but it could cost you.

 

Here is how the scam works:

  • Your phone rings once or twice and — with most phones having Caller ID — the number will show as “unknown” or a long distance area code you’re not familiar with on the screen.
  • By the time you answer it, no one is on the other end of the phone and they will not leave a voicemail. So, you may try calling back, only to find no one is answering or there is only noise on the other end.

 

It’s called the “One Ring Scam,” and it is part of a practice called phone cramming.

 

Cell phone plans are billed through automation and usage on both incoming and outgoing calls. You are recognized if you answer the call, and a billing statement is passed through from the service provider on the other end of the line.

 

The scammers count on the fact that consumers don’t always look closely at their monthly statements, which may include a premium rate of $19.95 plus international fees. Or if they do review their statements, consumers might assume the charges are legitimate.

 

Several Better Business Bureaus are reporting this is happening to consumers, and the number shows up as unknown or an international phone number. Victims have reported calls originating from the Caribbean Islands, like Grenada, Antigua, Jamaica and the British Virgin Islands.

 

If you think you’re a victim of the scam, immediately notify your cell phone provider, and keep an eye on your phone bill. The earlier the fraud is documented, the better your chances are for having some or all of the charges removed.

 

To find out more about scams and to read up on the latest, check out BBB Scam Stopper.

 

Start with someone you can trust. Visit Better Business Bureau serving Central Indiana at indy.bbb.org.

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Tax time again? Don’t get scammed!

The good news: The official due date for filing individual federal tax forms with the Internal Revenue Service is Monday, April 18 instead of Friday, April 15 due to the observance of Emancipation Day in Washington, D.C.

The bad news: The scammers are out there! If you’re planning on using a tax service to prepare your return this year, be prepared.

Bill Thomas, President and CEO of the Better Business Bureau of Central Indiana, spoke with Ed Wenck on WIBC radio about what to watch out for when it comes to tax refund scams. Click the below link to listen in!

Bill Thomas of the BBB Offers Tax Advice on 93 WIBC

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Super Bowl Brings Super-Sized Scams

Super Bowl XLIV (or 44) pits the AFC champion Indianapolis Colts against the NFC champion New Orleans Saints. It will be the first time since Super Bowl XXVIII that both number one seeds will face each other in the Super Bowl. It also marks the first time that two teams who play in an domed/retractable roof stadium will play each other in a Super Bowl.

How’s that for some excitement?:)

But with these super-sized offenses unfortunately come some super-sized scams. The Better Business Bureau says that scam artists look to take advantage of these high-emotion situations with fake Super Bowl ticket giveaways and travel packages.

Some tips for purchasing Super Bowl tickets include:

· Deal with a reputable, local company that has a track record with Bowl game packages and ticket sales.
· Research any company you might do business with at http://www.bbb.org/.
· Use a credit card or PayPal for your purchases as they offer additional protection if the offer falls short and provides a means to track your purchase.
· Make sure the Web site where you buy tickets is secure and reputable. Look for a seal of approval from the BBB or similar organizations.

In addition, the BBB encourages consumers to watch out for travel package deals that may “include” Super Bowl tickets. Package prices may be severely inflated to accommodate the purchase of tickets, while other aspects of the package may be below expectations.

Other tips for purchasing Super Bowl tour packages include:

· Get all the details in writing, including price, cancellation penalties and all of the other specifics of the package, including the name of the hotel, the airlines, etc.
· Verify that your travel package includes guaranteed tickets to the Super Bowl game.
· Independently verify your travel arrangements, including your flight and hotel reservations. Then, follow up with your travel promoter a few days before departure to confirm reservations.

Make sure your purchase is guaranteed — so that you can be guaranteed the Super Bowl experience of a lifetime.

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