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New Scam Brings Charges To Cell Phone Bills

In this new scheme, scammers are placing calls to cell phones in the hope that you will return them.
In this new scheme, scammers are placing calls to cell phones in the hope that you will return them. 

"We're just at the mercy of the technology really," Scott Evans said.

Scammers are using technology to rack up charges on your phone bill if you answer or return their calls.

"It's awful because most people would probably answer," Paige Kiefner said.

If you pick up or call back, expect a big bill.

"You get an international dialing charge and a per-minute charge, which is expensive when you're calling the Caribbean," Verizon spokesman John O'Malley said.

The scammers' "Premium Service Fee" is usually $19.95- that is tacked onto the international call charges. The area codes to look out for are 809 (The Dominican Republic), 876 (Jamaica), 284 (British Virgin Islands) and 473 (Grenada). Matt Swensen says he has been called from foreign phone numbers.

"[They have been] random area codes and then number that don't make sense; like the area code and then more numbers than there should be," he said.

Fortunately, he has not fallen victim to potential scams. 

"If it says blocked ID or unknown number or one I just don't know, I'll let it go to voicemail because it it's important enough they'll leave a message for me," Swensen said.

Experts say Matt is doing the right thing. 

"Anytime you get a call from a number that you don't recognize, it's probably safer to just let it go to voicemail," O'Malley said.

It is better to be safe than sorry. 
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