Scam alert: BBB warns cell users about ‘One Ring’ calls

If your cell phone rings once before disconnecting, and it’s an international number you don’t recognize, think twice before calling back.

The Charlotte Better Business Bureau is warning consumers about the “One Ring” scam, in which scammers send calls to random numbers, ring once and disconnect. BBB President Tom Bartholomy said the scam is spreading across the country.

When recipients return the missed call, they are charged $19.95 for an international call, followed by a $9-per-minute charge. They may hear music or advertising, as the charges mount.

According to the Better Business Bureau, the calls appear to be coming from the Caribbean Islands of Grenada, Antigua, Jamaica and the British Virgin Islands.

The bureau advises any customers who believe they’ve been a victim of the scam to immediately alert their cell phone carrier and watch their bill.

“The earlier you document the fraud, the better your chances of having some or all of the charges removed,” Bartholomy said in a statement.

According to news accounts, the scam has popped up in other parts of the Carolinas, as well, including Eastern North Carolina and the Columbia area.