Consumer Alert: New Cell Phone Scam
As if we needed another reason to monitor our mobile phone bills each month, the Council of Better Business Bureaus is alerting consumers to a new scam that targets cell phone users by adding “premium services” to their bills. We’ve been on high-alert for years with regards to email and text messaging scams, but this new trick is so subtle that many users don’t even recognize that anything abnormal has occured.
This scam preys on users who have a natural curiosity to know who called. The phone may ring once or twice, but no voicemail will be left. When the user returns the call, they are then connected to international chat lines or adult entertainment services. While the charges vary, most are under $20.
According to reports, the numbers involved in the scam will typically originate from the Caribbean, including area codes 876, 473, 284, and 809. Since it is possible that the scam will evolve as users become aware of it, it is vital to always check the area code of the missed, unknown call before it is returned. Typing the number into Google will also help shine a light onto the origin of the call as numerous websites collect data regarding telemarketing numbers and scams.
If you find that you have experienced a call of this nature and notice unwanted charges on your cell phone bill, contact your phone company as soon as possible. Most companies will only allow users to dispute charges for 60 days after the bill date. If you are unable to resolve the issue with your carrier, consider filing a complaint with the FCC.
We at RAK Consulting urge you to be proactive and discuss this scam with not only your colleagues and employees, but your friends, family, and business network as well. While some families and companies may only have a few users on their bill, some companies have several hundred or thousand and a few extra charges of $20 may go unnoticed (not to mention, add up to a hefty loss). If you would like a review of your wireless bill, or if you review it on your own and find that you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at 630.978.9309.