If you are receiving calls from unrecognizable numbers, don't bother answering or returning those missed calls. The Better Business Bureau of Kansas City says you could be a potential victim of several growing phone scams.
The most popular scam to date has been the one ring phone scam. Scammers have set up computer systems which have auto-dialers to call cell phone numbers across the country, ringing once for a missed call to appear. The scammers are hoping to have cell phone users call the number back, which is when cell phone bills are charged and scammers receive a percentage of the money.
"About two weeks ago I got a telephone call saying that I was eligible for a US grant from the federal government," says Janet Kerby of Unionville.
Although Kerby did not receive the one ring scam phone call, she has been the victim of a recent federal grant scam.
Kerby says her cell phone rang and a Washington D.C. area code appeared. She says the scammer requested she buy a credit card from Walmart to receive money from the federal government.
The main tip from law enforcement and the Better Business Bureau is to ignore unfamiliar calls and try to avoid returning calls from numbers unrecognized. If ever tempted to call an unfamiliar number, check online directories to be sure the number is registered. Also, review cell phone bills from line to line to ensure there are no unexpected charges to your phone bill.
"There aren't really any signs. You won't know (you've been scammed) until you connect back to the number. There are a couple things you can do to guard yourself against that and it's to not call numbers back that aren't local and look out for specific area codes," says Aaron Reese of the Better Business Bureau in Kansas City.
If you wish to report a phone scam incident, contact your local police and the Better Business Bureau.