The Woodward News

Local News

February 6, 2014

Ring and Run scam making the rounds

Woodward, Okla. — No one likes extra charges on their phone bill.

Especially if those charges come as the result of a scam that is now popping up around the country.

The scam is known as a “ring and run” because victims receive a call from a suspicious number, which only rings once and disconnects. That's because the scammers want you to call back.

However, several organizations ranging from the Oklahoma Bankers Association (OBA) to the Better Business Bureau (BBB) are warning people not to return the call. They say this is one situation where satisfying your curiosity could leave you facing some hefty fees.

According to the BBB, these suspicious calls are coming from international paid adult entertainment services, “chat” lines or other premium service. And if you dial the number back, you can be saddled with expensive fees including $20 just for making an international call in addition to per minute service charges which can range up to $9 per minute.

An OBA press release identifies a number of international area codes that have been tied to the scam, as well as the countries from where the calls actually originated, including:

473 – Grenada

268 – Antigua or Barbuda

809 – Dominican Republic

876 – Jamaica

284 – British Virgin Islands

649 – Turks and Caicos

Persons receiving a suspicious call from an unknown number are asked to research the number before returning the call.

“If the call is important, the caller is going to leave a voice mail,” OBA Vice President of Fraud Elaine Dodd said in a press release. “A missed call without a voice message tends to be a wrong number. If it is a missed call from someone you know, their name and number should be in your phone already to identify the call. If it important, they’ll leave a message, continue to call or even text you.

“You should never return a call to a number you aren’t familiar with. If you are tempted to return the phone call, at least do an online search for the number before you call and see what you come up with,” Dodd said.

Kristin Ewing, member and public relations coordinator for the OBA, said the banking organization became aware of the issue after the wife of one of the OBA board members became a target of the scam herself.

“His wife started receiving these strange calls. And then when they were recently in Kansas City they heard about the scam on the news there, so when they came back they shared it with us,” Ewing said.

Similar news reports have also gone out in other states across the nation from Pennsylvania to Florida to Alaska. The BBB has reported that the scammers are likely using automatic dialing technology to call thousands of different cell phones as they troll for more victims.

While the scam “is not a direct banking issue,” she said the OBA was still interested in helping to warn people about the ring and run because “we like to stay on top of things for Oklahomans.”

“We felt it was something that Oklahomas needed to know about to help protect them from these crazy charges,” she said. “So we did a quick scan to see if anyone else had started to put the word out in Oklahoma and when we didn't find anything here, we decided we should send out a release.”

Ewing said wanting to warn people about the scam is just a part of the OBA's mission to help support its membership of community banks, which in turn support the people in their communities.

“It's about caring about the communities we live in,” she said.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • State board votes again to delay education plan

    OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma's State Board of Education voted on Wednesday for a second time to delay a formal plan for adopting new education standards in math and English amid opposition to the proposal from three education groups that represent public school boards and administrators across Oklahoma.

    July 24, 2014

  • Winners of Cudd Legacy award named

    Three veterans of the oil industry will receive this year's Bobby Joe Cudd Legacy Award during the Tri-State Oil and Gas Convention on Aug. 7 at the Woodward Conference Center.

    July 24, 2014

  • Benefit gun raffles underway

    Woodward Reserve police officers and other Woodward full time officers have come together to support one of their own.

    July 24, 2014

  • Tulsa man looking for military friend

    There are times in everyone's life when you think back and wonder whatever happened to those old friends from your past.

    July 23, 2014

  • Zoning change approved by commission

    Monday night Woodward city commissioners unanimously approved a zoning change that was contested by one local man who was protesting because he wants the neighborhood to continue its residential growth.

    July 23, 2014

  • Tangier Reunion set for Saturday, Sunday

    When Barbara (Allison) Merwin thinks back to the years she spent in the classrooms of Tangier High School, it takes a few moments for her to recall how school life was 60 years ago.

    July 23, 2014

  • Traveler Majors take regional opener

    ALVA - The Traveler Majors continued their strong Connie Mack playoff showing at Northwestern Oklahoma State University Tuesday.

    July 22, 2014

  • County OKs road use agreement

    Woodward County Commissioners on Monday approved a final version of a road use agreement between a energy company planning a wind turbine construction project near southeast Woodward County.

    July 22, 2014

  • Camp to show art is everywhere

    The Woodward Arts Theatre will become a recycling plant next week.

    July 22, 2014

  • Fairview Wrangler Rodeo turns 50 this year

    Western fun continues in Northwest Oklahoma as the Fairview Wrangler’s hosting their 50th annual rodeo.

    July 22, 2014