Johnson City police are advising local residents to beware out-of-state cell phone calls.
In a news release, police said the Better Business Bureau is warning cell phone users about a scam that can add unauthorized charges to their monthly wireless bills. The scam is known as the "one ring" scam because victims' phones ring only once before the call is disconnected. If a victim tries to return the call, they are often charged a $19.95 international calling fee plus $9 per minute for the duration of the call.
"Scam artists are counting on victims to be curious enough about a call from an unfamiliar number that they will call back right away," Lt. Steve Sherfey said in the release. "The calls typically originate from outside the United States."
Area codes for these calls include 268, 274, 473, 809 and 876.
The Better Business Bureau recommends that if you do not recognize an out-of-state telephone number on your caller ID, ignore it and do not call back. Also, you should check your cell phone bills carefully and inform your carrier if you find any unauthorized charges.