YULEE, Fla. -- The Nassau County Sheriff's Office is warning cell phone users about the ''One Ring'' scam and a new credit card scam.
It's called the "One Ring" scam, because the scammer's program computers to send thousands of calls to random cell phone numbers, ring once, and then disconnect. The scammers then hope you are curious enough about the call that you return the call right away.
"To be as safe as possible the best things to do if you're phone rings and it's an international number you don't recognize don't answer and don't call back. Consumers who have fallen for the scam should immediately contact their cell phone service provider and monitor their phone bills" Leeper added.
When the cell phone owner returns the call they are charged $19.95 for the international call fee. After that there is a $9.00 per minute charge. "Often they will first hear music, then maybe advertising but it's easy to see how quickly these charges can add up," noted Bernas.
Consumers who have been duped by these calls report that they are coming from the Caribbean Islands, including Grenada, Antigua, Jamaica, and the British Virgin Islands. If a person thinks they may have fallen for this scam, they should immediately alert their cell phone carrier and keep an eye on their cell phone bill. The earlier they document the fraud the better their chances of having some or all of the charges removed.
Reports are surfacing that consumers are finding unauthorized charges of $9.84 on their statements. The business that levied the charge claims that the fee is for "customer support" and it may appear on the statement as one of many different websites. It appears their plan is fly under the radar when they hit individual accounts.
"These individuals are aware that small charges under ten dollars often go un-noticed, which would not be the case for larger amounts. For example, in the hundreds of dollars," said Steve J. Bernas, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois. "This fraud relies on consumers being a little careless and not closely examining their statements."
Bernas noted, "It is possible that some of the cards that have been hit may be the result of the data stolen in the holiday breach. However, authorities are still investigating that possibility."
Victims of this fraud report that, when they've accessed the website listed on their statement, they were given a customer support phone number and email address. After calling the number, they were told that the charge would be removed. However, the only way that consumers can be certain that they have taken positive steps to protect themselves is to contact their card issuer regarding the suspected fraud and follow their recommendations.
For more information on credit card fraud and Identity Theft visit www.bbb.org.