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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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