Missed call from Caribbean could cost you

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Reported by: Lynn Casey
Updated: 2/05 11:23 pm Published: 2/05 11:17 pm

An old scam has gotten new life lately, and the Better Business Bureau wants you to watch out. Anyone with a cell phone has been there: your phone rings and it’s a number you don’t recognize. A lot of us don’t answer and the Better Business Bureau says that’s a good thing. But they also don’t want you calling that number back.

This phone scam has been back for a few weeks. You get a missed call from a number you don’t recognize. It often shows a number from a Caribbean country.

“It said on the caller ID Montserrat. And it was number I didn’t recognize, so I didn’t answer. So any time I get a call from a number I don’t recognize I don’t answer it,” says Matthew Manganaro. He got several of these phone calls.

That’s exactly what the Better Business Bureau says you should do. The idea is this: they call and hang up; hoping you’ll think it could be about something important and call back. But the moment you call you’ll be charged $20 on your cell phone bill. That’s because you’re calling an overseas adult entertainment chat line.

“It wasn’t terribly surprising. I’ve heard of these sort of things happening before,” says Manganaro.

But anybody who isn’t that surprised by what they get on the other line, you might be later. If you decide to stick around on the phone call—you’ll find an additional ten dollars a minute charged to your bill.

“I’ve gotten three so far. I got one a couple weeks ago, and then I’ve gotten two in the past week and a half,” says Manganaro.

Some people told us the scammers are driving them crazy, calling all hours of the night. But the BBB says to keep ignoring them. If the call IS about something important, the caller will leave a message.

“It seems like a very safe way to handle it. Better to be safe than sorry,” says Manganaro.

Just remember these scammers can route the number through a U.S. area code. So don’t fall into thinking you’re safe just because the call comes from within the 50 states.

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