Regional News

State AG warns about Caribbean calls


Feb 12, 2014

If someone calls your cellphone from a Caribbean island but hangs up before you answer, chances are some friend wasn’t calling to gloat about sipping daiquiris on a beach.

Don’t call back, or you could be out $20 or more, the Washington Attorney General’s Office warns.

The Consumer Protection Office has received reports of a scam hitting cellphone users around the country that start with calls from Antigua, Barbuda, Jamaica, Grenada or other Caribbean islands. Some of those area codes include, 242, 246, 268, 345, and 876.

It’s called the “One Ring Scam” by the Better Business Bureau. The caller hangs up before you answer and doesn’t leave a message. You hit the “call back” button wondering who might be calling from the Caribbean.

You get hit with a $19.95 fee for an international call, and pay as much as $9 a minute while you’re on the line. You may get put on hold while the meter runs.

The BBB calls this “cramming.” Automated dialers make thousands of calls to random digits or numbers gleaned from public listings or lists they purchase. Scammers count on some recipients calling back out of curiosity and the charges kick in, often showing up on your monthly phone bill as “premium services.”


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