It’s one phone call you don’t want to return as a new phone scam is sweeping the country.
Part of what makes it dangerous is the fact that crooks don’t even need your credit card information to steal your money.
All they need is for you to hit one button on your phone.
Jenny Vergara was hard at work around lunchtime when her cell phone rang once.
Vergara said, “I looked down at the screen and I realized it was this weird Antigua call and I thought, ‘I don’t know anybody in Antigua.”
She didn’t know it at the time but Vergara had just become the target of an international phone scam.
Officials say scammers buy or steal lists of U.S. cell phone numbers and use computers to mass dial.
Victims’ cell phones ring just long enough to generate a missed call.
When the victim calls back, the scammers charge your phone bill $20 for the call and another $9 for every minute you spend on the line.
Aaron Reese, a BBB spokesman, said, “It is a new take on an old scam, so we are familiar with this type of thing but the one-ring scam is brand new.”
The Better Business Bureau says the scam is more effective than others because it doesn’t raise very many red flags.
Reese said, “There is no one trying to sell you anything. There is no one sending the wrong type of message or who has a foreign accent or doesn’t speak very well. All of those things that we look for are absent.”
Even the number looks normal aside from where it originated.
Scams like this normally target one region or city at a time.
However, the BBB says this scam is happening all across the country, all at once.