The 'One Ring' phone scam is running rampant in the Midstate. It's been reported in several other parts of the country.

The crooks want you to call them back after your phone rings just once.

The second you do, they start charging you as much as $10 per minute. They're relentless and call some people several times in one day.

“I think they’re persistent. They’re trying to get someone so they can lure them and they can scam them," a victim told News4.

She's one of thousands getting the calls. On Wednesday, she got six and it's been going on for two weeks.

“It makes you wonder if it’s actually someone important. So, when the caller continuously calls, eventually, they’re going to get someone," she said.

The calls are using country codes like "222" or "232." Both are from West Africa.

The scammers get what they want when you call back and they put you on hold.

“You could be on hold for 20 minutes, 30 minutes. You just don’t know," Robyn Householder, President and CEO of the Better Business Bureau for Middle Tennessee and Southern Kentucky said.

Householder said that's how the crooks make their money. The longer you're on hold, the higher your cell phone bill will be.

In one case, Householder said she's heard of a bill reaching around $2,000 in the Midstate.

“It’s a lot of money. It’s a lot of money," Householder said.

If you fall for the scam, you can get your money back.

  • Call your cell phone carrier immediately.
  • File a complaint with the BBB.
  • Report it to the BBB's scam tracker.

Bottom line, if you don't know the number calling you, don't answer it.

Some apps are out there to help block the calls from coming in, but it's not guaranteed. 

Copyright 2019 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

Reporter

Cameron Taylor is a national Edward R. Murrow award-winning journalist who joined the News 4 team in December 2018.

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