International phone scam hits central Illinois

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An international phone scam apparently has hit central Illinois.

 

Scammers are using a new version of an old trick to get money out of cell phone users. The "one ring" scam has been reported in several Illinois towns.

 

Callers hang up after one ring, hoping those on the receiving end will be curious enough to call back. For every minute cell phone customers spend calling those offshore numbers, the scammers are making money. Callers are charged $20 for an international call fee and an additional $9 a minute.

 

"The phone company will charge an uplift on a consumer's bill and then give that money to the operators," said cybersecurity expert John Bambenek. "So in essence the phone company is the middle man in this case."

 

The Better Business Bureau urges residents not to return calls from international numbers that they don't recognize.

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