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Warning about a new phone scam

Phone scams have been around just about as long as cell phones have.
And with every new cell phone advancement comes a new cell phone scam.
Now tricksters are tricking people with the "rings once and call back method."

Channel Three's Rob Brown has more on one of their latest tricks and how you can try and avoid it.

If you own a cell phone, the chances that you've received a call from a unrecognized number are probably about one hundred percent. And the chances that you've returned one of those calls are probably about the same. Now the Better Business Bureau is warning cell phone users that making that return call could come at a cost.
   
The BBB is calling the newest scam the one ring call.
Danielle Rudd says the scam is quite simple.

Danielle Rudd "Your phone rings, typically once, and then the call ends, and you see on your caller ID that you have a missed call from a long-distance area code."

The scammers typically call from other countries, including Jamaica, the Virgin Islands and Dominican Republic.
If you return the call, you're connected to a phone line that charges a premium connection fee, usually around twenty dollars.
Once a scammer verifies a number is real, they sell them to other crooks.

Danielle Rudd "They can even record if the number is no longer in service or if it went straight to a voicemail or if no one picked up. And it records all of that information and then scammers just sort through it and the list just gets circulated."

Many people we talked so said they regularly return unrecognized calls, but will think twice about it now.

Jeremy Sanford "Because I never had it on my mind. That was something kind of in the far back of my head."

Courtney Evans "I always get unknown numbers because of hospital bills and stuff. So I'm thinking it's somebody like a bill collector trying to get a hold of me. But that's the only reason that I would ever call back."

The Better Business Bureau says the best way to protect yourself from this scam: if you don't recognize the number, and they don't leave a voicemail, don't call them back. In Okaloosa County, Rob Brown, Channel Three News.