Scam of the day – January 29, 2014 – The scam artist only rings once

“The Postman Always Rings Twice” was a classic movie from 1946 that was remade in 1981 starring Jack Nicholson.  Perhaps the postman always rings twice, but scam artists only need to ring once to hook you into a scam that can add hundreds of dollars to your phone bill.  The scam starts innocently enough with a call to your cell phone from a number that you don’t recognize.  However, before you have a chance to decide whether or not to take the call, the caller disconnects the call after only a single ring.  Curiosity, it is said, killed the cat and curiosity can end up turning you into a victim of a scam because if you call back the number, usually from an area code you will not recognize, in this particular scam you will end up calling a premium rate telephone number for a service such as music, psychics or even pornography that will result in your incurring a charge on your phone and the longer you stay on the line, the higher the charges will be.  Many of these calls are originating from various Caribbean islands, such as Antigua, Barbados, the Dominican Republic and Grenada.  The scam started many years ago in Jamaica where the area code is 876.

TIPS

Don’t fall prey to your curiosity.  It could end up costing you money.  If you are tempted to return a call that hung up after just one ring, Google the area code and if the call originated in a foreign country, particularly one from a Caribbean country such as Jamaica and the infamous 876 area code, you should not return the call.  Consider yourself lucky that you have dodged a scam attempt.  The safest and best thing to do if you do get a call that disconnects after just one ring is to just ignore it.