By: Alyssa Marsico

PITTSBURGH (NewsRadio1020 KDKA) – The Better Business Bureau is warning cell phone users of a new scam that can cost you a lot of money. They are calling it the “one ring” scam.

In this one, the scammer programs a computer called autodialers to call thousands of phone numbers, ring once then disconnect. They do this in hopes that the owner of the phone calls back the number to see who it is, usually they report they hear music, advertising messages or adult entertainment services.

President of the Better Business Bureau of Western Pennsylvania Warren King joins KDKA Radio’s Bill Rehkopf on the KDKA Afternoon News.

“This is kind of a new twist to an old scam called the 809 scam; 809 is the area code that used to be used by the Caribbean Islands,” says King. “What happens is these numbers look like a number that may be somewhere in the United States when in fact they are overseas and they are overpriced international calls.”

King says they are bypassing the consumer protection laws by using these numbers and charging the fees to your cell phone bill. You can be charged $20 for the initial international call, then $9 for every minute you stay connected after that.

For those of you thinking this has to be illegal! Well you are right, to an extent. King says that since there is no legal action that can be taken it is up to us to be aware and spread the word.

“What’s happening is that its difficult for regulatory agencies and consumer protection laws to protect us because these are entities that are overseas. So again its up to the consumer to recognize this is something that could happen to them. You know if your not familiar with the phone number you see on your cell phone then you can always Google it, find out where the area code is that will help you,” King said.

If you think you have been a victim of this “one ring” scam, you are to contact your cell phone provider to let them know what has happened and monitor your phone bills.

You can hear the whole interview here:

You can also listen to the KDKA Afternoon News with Bill Rehkopf weekdays 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.

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