'One ring' scam hits Washington

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by JESSE JONES / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @getjesse

KING5.com

Posted on February 10, 2014 at 7:56 PM

Updated Thursday, Feb 13 at 11:47 AM

Jahanel Neal's cell phone bill is under attack from scammers in the Dominican Republic. They got her for $222.

It appears the Shelton resident is part of the one ring scam. Scammers call your phone once and then hang up. Then later, when you call them back, the thieves hit you with huge charges.

“That's a real problem. And if it's happening to me, it could very well be happening to others as well. Money is tight.” Jahanel said.

Shannon Smith with the Attorney General's Office says never return a call from an unfamiliar number.

“Don't call an unknown number and say are you trying to get a hold of me, who are you? Just don't call back,” Smith said.

The Caribbean has been a hot bed for phone scammers for years. Just a couple of years ago we tracked down a Jamaican telemarketing scam telling folks they'll get a new car if you pay them 500 bucks.

The Federal Trade Commission told us gangs were behind that criminal enterprise. They would use the proceeds from the crime to smuggle weapons into Jamaica and drugs to the United States.

Now what about blocking the number? The problem with that is some companies won't let you do it. And the bad guys are changing the numbers all the time.

“They use auto dialers and, robocallers,” Smith said.

So if you are screening calls, don't be so quick to call that number back. The return call may be more expensive than you could ever believe.
 

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