Consumer News

Consumer Corner: “One ring” scam hits phone bills with unwanted charges

By Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt

That missed-call alert on your cell phone may be from a scammer trying to ding your wallet.

In Kansas and across the country, consumers are reporting an increase in the “one-ring” telephone scam. This scam uses automatic phone-dialing computers to place thousands of calls to consumers, only to hang up the call after one ring. The idea is to get you to notice that missed call and call them back. But calling back can result in connecting you to an overseas adult entertainment line that charges by the minute, on top of the charge for an international phone call.

The Federal Trade Commission reports that these calls are most often coming from Caribbean phone numbers, which appear to be domestic phone numbers. The area codes most often reported include: 268, 284, 473, 664, 649, 767, 809, 829, 849 and 876.

If you get a phone call from a number you do not recognize, your best bet is not to answer the call. If the phone call is from a legitimate person who needs to speak to you, chances are they will leave a message for you to call them back. At the very least, check out the phone number using an online search before calling it back to find out where the call came from.

Finally, be sure to closely review your phone bill each month and report any suspicious charges to your service provider.

For more information on protecting yourself from scams, or to file a complaint, visit our consumer protection website at www.InYourCornerKansas.org.