Wash. AG warns of phone scam

By Bryan Cohen | Feb 12, 2014

SEATTLE (Legal Newsline) - Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson warned consumers on Monday about a scam in which calls are placed to random mobile numbers with hopes recipients will call the number back and incur fees.

According to the consumer alert, international scammers from Jamaica, Barbuda, Antigua, Grenada, the British Virgin Islands and the Dominican Republic are placing thousands of calls to cell phones throughout the U.S. The phone rings once and disconnects. The scam artists are trying to get recipients to call the number back out of curiously.

If a recipient of the international call dials the number, the recipient will be connected to a paid chat line, international adult entertainment service or another premium service located outside the U.S. The recipients will then be charged $19.95 for making an international call and an additional $9 per minute.

One Washington consumer told Ferguson's office that his caller ID indicated a call originated in Antigua or Barbuda (area code 268). Other consumers throughout the U.S. report calls from Grenada (area code 473), the British Virgin Islands (area code 284), Jamaica (area code 876) and the Dominican Republic (area code 809).

Ferguson's office said state residents should only answer cell phone calls if they recognize the number.

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