Hang up on the "ring once" phone scam

When your cell phone rings and you miss the call, there's a good chance you'll call back to see who it was. Con artists hope to use this curiosity to cram unauthorized charges onto your bill.

"And if you call back, you're calling an overseas toll number, a service that charges for incoming calls," explained Katherine Hutt with the Better Business Bureau.

Take the bait and you'll get hit with a charge of as muc $19.95 just to connect. And there can also be a per-minute charge on top of that.

This "ring and run" scam is so effective because it's so simple.

"No one would ever imagine they'd be charged as much as $20 to make a phone call," Hutt said. "There's no warning message about the charges and there's nothing that indicates that the area code you're dialing is for the Caribbean Islands."

On a cellphone, you don't need to dial a one to make these International calls. And most of us don't know that 809 is the area code for the Dominican Republic or that 268 is Antigua.

To beat the bad guys, you need to stop and think before you return any unknown call.

"If you don't recognize the number, don't call back," Hutt advised.

Good advice!

More Info
: How the 'one ring 'scam can cost you money