New scam hitting Bellingham area could lead to costly cellphone bill

THE BELLINGHAM HERALDJanuary 31, 2014 

A relatively new phone scam is making its way into Western Washington that could cost victims plenty in extra phone charges.

Called the "one ring" phone scam, the ploy involves automated dialers blasting thousands of random calls to mobile phones, according to the Better Business Bureau. The dialers disconnect after one ring, however, hoping to pique the potential victims' curiosity to call back. However, return calls are often directed to expensive international hotlines that can charge up to $19.95 to connect plus additional costs per minute.

These calls are coming from several different area codes, including 809 (Dominican Republic) 876 (Jamaica) and 473 (Grenada).

The BBB suggests never returning calls to unfamiliar foreign numbers and to regularly check cellphone bills and report discrepancies. For further information, visit bbb.org.

Reach Business Editor Dave Gallagher at 360-715-2269 or dave.gallagher@bellinghamherald.com. Read the Business Blog at bellinghamherald.com/business-blog or get updates on Twitter at @bhamheraldbiz.

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