BBB warns of “One Ring” cell phone scam

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) — The Better Business Bureau Serving Wisconsin is warning cell phone users about a new scam that can result in unauthorized charges appearing on their monthly wireless statement.

It’s called the “One Ring” scam because the scammers program computers to send thousands of calls to random cell phone numbers, ring once and then disconnect. The scammers then hope you are curious enough about the phone call that you return the call right away.

When the cell phone owner returns the call, they are charged $19.95 for an international call fee. After that, there is a $9.00 per minute charge. It’s reported that often they will first hear music followed by advertising. So,it’s easy to see how quickly these charges can add up.

Consumers who have been duped by these calls report that they are coming from the Caribbean Islands including Grenada, Antigua, Jamaica and the British Virgin Islands.

If a person thinks they may have fallen for this scam, they should immediately alert their cell phone carrier and keep an eye on their cell phone bill. The earlier they document the fraud, the better their chances of having some or all of the charges removed.

To be as safe as possible, the BBB recommends the best thing to do if your phone rings and it’s an international number you don’t recognize, don’t answer it and don’t call back.


  • Ruth Simmons

    Thanks for the heads up! It’s terrible that these scammers would do everything to get their hands on other people’s hard-earned money. I’ve read about this scheme from the feedback posted at and I’ve been wondering ever since why telephone companies never did anything to resolve the issue.

  • Michelle

    I gotten 2 calls from a # coming as from Antigua. By rule- I do not answer ccalls from numbers I don’t know d if they don’t leave a valid msg- I will not ccall them back. Glad I didn’t this past wk!

  • Sarah

    I keep getting a call from 414-255-0553 with no voicemail. I haven’t called back due to this scam, but any ideas who this might be? I googled them and can’t find any details besides that it is from Sussex, WI.

  • justin

    I used to get calls from WI all the time. Never tried to answer any of them and they just quit. Its 2014 and not very hard to get my phone number. If I don’t now who it is and they don’t leave a message then its not very important.

  • spoo

    Why do you persue this story right to the top? I DON’T want to hear from the BBB, I want to hear something from WASHINGTON!

Comments are closed.

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