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Feb 04

Don’t ya just love Caller ID?

Ah… I remember the days fondly.  The phone would ring and we’d pick it up.  You never knew who was on the other end.  It could be the neighbor next door.  It could be a family member.  It could even be a wrong number.  But no matter what, you answered the phone.

Fast forward to today… caller ID has taken over our lives. Your screen shows you who’s calling — or at least the number they’re calling from.  You decide based, on that caller ID, whether you’ll answer the phone or let it go to voice mail.

But recently, there’s been a new way, using that caller ID, to find a way to part you with your money, and that’s what I want to talk about today. One of the things many of us do (and yeah, I’ve been know to do it in the past) is to take a look at that missed call and call it back to see who called us.

Well scammers have found a way to take advantage of that.  It’s called something like the “One Ring Scam”.  They call your phone (home or cell) and let it ring once.  They know you can’t possibly look at the caller ID and make a decision whether to answer the phone or not on a single ring.

Now you’ve got a missed call that you’re curious about.  So, you call back that number.

As soon as you do, the scam starts charging money to your telephone bill — The first thing it does is “cram” a charge (sometimes up to $20) onto your bill.  Then the scammers will charge you a per minute charge while you’re connected, and keep you connected they will — with messages like “please hold for our representative” or some other BS like that — all at a very high price per minute.

They’ll keep you on the line as long as they can running up your bill. And, once you find out, it takes a long time to get those charges off of your phone bill.

There’s a simple, easy way to avoid this scam…

[warning]DON’T BLINDLY CALL BACK MISSED CALLS[/warning]

You’re probably saying why would anyone do that.  Think about — we’ve all done it at one time or another. I know that I have. And they know it too!

If they make 1,000,000 “one ring” calls a day and only 1% of the people they call make the mistake of blindly calling back that number, they’ve taken at least $20 from 10,000 people each and every day – that’s $200,000 a day.

So, before you call that number back….

[important]Google it before you dial. You’ll find out if it’s a telemarketer or a scam.  But more importantly, it may save you a lot of money and hassles down the line.[/important]

[error]From Forbes Magazine – a list of Area Codes that are international but look like US numbers — be especially careful calling back any numbers from these area codes…

242- Bahamas 441 – Bermuda 784 – St. Vincent & Grenadines
246 – Barbados 473 – Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique 809, 829, 849 – Dominican Republic
264 – Anguilla 649 – Turks and Caicos 868 – Trinidad and Tobago
268 – Antigua 664 – Montserrat 876 – Jamaica
284 – British Virgin Islands 758 – St Lucia 869 – St. Kitts & Nevis
345 – Cayman Islands 767 – Dominica

[/error]

Thanks for reading and be sure to forward, follow, comment on and share it!

2 comments

  1. Anonymous

    Good advice, Marty. Thanks!

  2. Nan Fine

    Interesting

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