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The Bottom Line: Foreign Phone Call Scam

Updated: Friday, February 7 2014, 07:42 PM EST

NISKAYUNA -- Do not call back!


That's The Bottom Line from the Better Business Bureau, about a phone scam that's running rampant right now.


The calls appear to be coming from islands in the Caribbean, including Antigua-Barbuda and Dominica.  The caller lets the phone ring just once, and they don't leave a voicemail.


Their hope is you'll be curious enough to call back - but the BBB tells CBS 6's Dori Marlin, if you do, you'll be forced to pay.


"These are automatic international calls, like a collect call, that will be charged to your cell phone bill if you're not paying close attention," says Upstate New York BBB Spokesperson Peggy Penders. "The reports we have from consumers, they're tracked at $19.99 a month."


The Bottom Line:  If you get one of these phone calls from a number you don't know, don't pick up, and don't call back.


Make sure you check your cell phone bills for any erroneous charges - they would be listed as "Premium Services" - and report them to your carrier immediately.


Also, your carrier may have the ability to block some of these numbers, so place a call to them if you'd like to find out.


And you may even be able to block these numbers online, by logging onto your carrier's website.  A Verizon Wireless spokesperson tells Dori, for example, customers can log onto www.verizonwireless.com, sign into their accounts, click on "Manage Family Safeguards and Controls," and then "Call and Message Blocking" to enter specific phone numbers.


The spokesperson says following these steps may not block all of these unwanted calls, but it may help to prevent some from getting through.

The Bottom Line: Foreign Phone Call Scam


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