Connecticut Better Business Bureau warns of phone scam

The Connecticut Better Business Bureau is warning cellphone users about a new scam that results in unauthorized charges appearing on one's monthly wireless statement.

Consumers in several states are reporting getting calls on their mobile phones during which the caller hangs up. When cellphone owner calls back, they are connected to a paid international adult entertainment service or chat line located outside the country.

Victims are subsequently billed for unwanted "premium services," such as an adult chat line, which typically appears as a $19.95 charge.

The area codes that appear on the caller ID often originate from Antigua (268), Dominican Republic (809), Jamaica (876), British Virgin Islands (284) and Grenada (473).

The practice of third parties placing unauthorized charges on wireless accounts is called "cramming." The Federal Trade Commission and Federal Communications Commission have reviewed thousands of complaints about the practice and expect the problem to grow.

Better Business Bureau recommends ignoring and not picking up or dialing any out-of-state telephone number on your caller ID that you don't recognize. Check your wireless bills carefully and inform your carrier if you spot any unauthorized charges.

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