Scam Alert: The One Ring Phone Scam - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Scam Alert: The One Ring Phone Scam

Posted: Updated:
SPOKANE, Wash. -

Have a missed call from a number you do not recognize? If so, calling it back could cost you. That is the case with this latest phone scam targeting thousands called the "one ring scam."

Every month there seems to be a new scam, but each one is a little different. This latest one is unique because it does not raise the normal red flags like someone who barely speaks English asking you to send them money. Instead, this scam uses a missed call and the fact that barely anyone leaves voicemails anymore to make people become victims.

“The interesting piece is that it was happening in such mass communications, hundreds of thousands of people receiving these one or two phone calls,” said Chelsea Maguire with the Better Business Bureau.

So here is how it works. First, the scammer obtains your number and calls it. However, scammer only stays on the phone long enough to let it ring once or twice, and then they hang up. It will then show up as a missed call on your phone. The hope is that you will call it back wondering who it was and that is when the trouble starts.

“It would have some sort of recording that would keep you on the phone for a long period of time, you know, saying please hold while we try to get someone to answer your call,” Maguire said.

While you wait on hold, in some cases the scam charges you $9.00 a minute and sometimes $20 just to make the call. So, how do they get your phone number in the first place?

”That information is easily marketed and sold in the black market and in legitimate markets, so who knows, phone numbers are easily attained,” Maguire said.

The area codes look like the call was made from the United States, but instead it is an international call that will rack up charges with your phone carrier.

“The weird thing about this one is that it just has malicious harm against the people who call the number back and we can't figure out how scammers benefit from it,” Maguire said.

It is such a strange scam because for now, we don't know how the people behind it are making any money off of it. The Better Business Bureau also says that depending on your phone carrier, they may get rid of the fees if you explain what happened.

However, just to be safe and to protect yourself, screen your calls and check the number before calling it back.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • The Latest: Government shutting down amid partisan standoff

    The Latest: Government shutting down amid partisan standoff

    Saturday, January 20 2018 12:54 AM EST2018-01-20 05:54:47 GMT

    WASHINGTON (AP) - The Latest on the budget battle in Congress (all times local): 12 midnight  The U.S. government shut down at midnight after Congress failed to resolve a partisan standoff over immigration and spending. In a late-night vote, Senate Democrats joined to block a bill that would have kept the government running for another four weeks. A flurry of last-minute negotiations failed to beat the deadline. Democrats have tried to use the F...

    >>

    WASHINGTON (AP) - The Latest on the budget battle in Congress (all times local): 12 midnight  The U.S. government shut down at midnight after Congress failed to resolve a partisan standoff over immigration and spending. In a late-night vote, Senate Democrats joined to block a bill that would have kept the government running for another four weeks. A flurry of last-minute negotiations failed to beat the deadline. Democrats have tried to use the F...

    >>
  • The forgotten fallout shelter: An inside look underneath one of Spokane’s oldest buildings

    The forgotten fallout shelter: An inside look underneath one of Spokane’s oldest buildings

    Friday, January 19 2018 9:44 PM EST2018-01-20 02:44:17 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Cobwebs hang from the exposed pipes running along the ceiling of a dimly lit, dirty basement. The underground labyrinth is used as storage space at Mount Saint Michael’s Academy in Spokane. But several decades ago it served as a safe haven. During the Cold War, the Office of Civil Defense designated the basement at Saint Michael’s as one of hundreds of fallout shelters throughout the city. 

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Cobwebs hang from the exposed pipes running along the ceiling of a dimly lit, dirty basement. The underground labyrinth is used as storage space at Mount Saint Michael’s Academy in Spokane. But several decades ago it served as a safe haven. During the Cold War, the Office of Civil Defense designated the basement at Saint Michael’s as one of hundreds of fallout shelters throughout the city. 

    >>
  • EBT Cards And Social Security During Government Shutdown

    EBT Cards And Social Security During Government Shutdown

    Tuesday marks the eighth day of the government shutdown, and there's still no deal made on Capitol Hill.>>
    Tuesday marks the eighth day of the government shutdown, and there's still no deal made on Capitol Hill. Some federal employees are back to work but 500,000 are still furloughed. All non-essential government offices have been closed for a week now. But House Democrats and Republicans are still no closer to making a compromise.>>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • Top Stories from KHQHomeMore>>

  • Cougar family comes together to remember Tyler Hilinski, talk about mental health

    Cougar family comes together to remember Tyler Hilinski, talk about mental health

    Saturday, January 20 2018 1:54 AM EST2018-01-20 06:54:34 GMT

    PULLMAN, Wash. - It was an incredibly emotional evening on the Washington State University campus in Pullman Friday as the Cougar family remembered one of their own, gone too soon. In the shadow of Martin Stadium, hundreds gathered in silence to remember quarterback Tyler Hilinski and those whose lives have been touched by suicide.  Family, friends and teammates held candles as they wiped away tears. Tyler's parents held 

    >>

    PULLMAN, Wash. - It was an incredibly emotional evening on the Washington State University campus in Pullman Friday as the Cougar family remembered one of their own, gone too soon. In the shadow of Martin Stadium, hundreds gathered in silence to remember quarterback Tyler Hilinski and those whose lives have been touched by suicide.  Family, friends and teammates held candles as they wiped away tears. Tyler's parents held 

    >>
  • Florida man arrested for DUI after mistaking bank drive-thru for Taco Bell

    Florida man arrested for DUI after mistaking bank drive-thru for Taco Bell

    Saturday, January 20 2018 1:40 AM EST2018-01-20 06:40:22 GMT

    TAMPA, Fla. - A Tampa, Florida man was arrested on Wednesday afternoon for DUI after deputies say he mistook a bank drive-thru for Taco Bell. The Hernando County Sheriff's Office told ABC Action News that the manager of a Bank of America called to report an impaired driver after he found an unconscious man behind the wheel of a blue sedan in the bank's drive-thru lane. The manager told deputies that after knocking on the car window for 

    >>

    TAMPA, Fla. - A Tampa, Florida man was arrested on Wednesday afternoon for DUI after deputies say he mistook a bank drive-thru for Taco Bell. The Hernando County Sheriff's Office told ABC Action News that the manager of a Bank of America called to report an impaired driver after he found an unconscious man behind the wheel of a blue sedan in the bank's drive-thru lane. The manager told deputies that after knocking on the car window for 

    >>
  • The Latest: Government shutting down amid partisan standoff

    The Latest: Government shutting down amid partisan standoff

    Saturday, January 20 2018 12:54 AM EST2018-01-20 05:54:47 GMT

    WASHINGTON (AP) - The Latest on the budget battle in Congress (all times local): 12 midnight  The U.S. government shut down at midnight after Congress failed to resolve a partisan standoff over immigration and spending. In a late-night vote, Senate Democrats joined to block a bill that would have kept the government running for another four weeks. A flurry of last-minute negotiations failed to beat the deadline. Democrats have tried to use the F...

    >>

    WASHINGTON (AP) - The Latest on the budget battle in Congress (all times local): 12 midnight  The U.S. government shut down at midnight after Congress failed to resolve a partisan standoff over immigration and spending. In a late-night vote, Senate Democrats joined to block a bill that would have kept the government running for another four weeks. A flurry of last-minute negotiations failed to beat the deadline. Democrats have tried to use the F...

    >>