Have you ever missed a phone call from an unrecognized number, and called back immediately? Think twice about that the next time. Scammers are using missed calls to create a big dent in your pockets.

The scam is simple: Scammers call your phone and only allow the call to ring once before hanging up. One ring is enough for the number to show on your missed call screen, but just short enough that you probably won't be able to answer it in time. You’ll see the missed call on your screen, and the scammers will wait until you give them a call back. If you do, you'll get charged for the call and for every minute they can keep you on the line.

This ‘one ring’ scam has been on the rise because of the culture of phone calls. Today, if someone calls someone, in lieu of texting or email, it’s probably an important matter. You don’t want to miss out on that life-changing job interview, or that girl you met at the bar last week, so you'll likely take that chance when calling back the unknown number. That’s the thing: the number looks familiar, as well. It has the same +1 country code, even though the country it's dialing from is usually outside of the United States.

This is a word of warning: don’t call a number back if you don’t recognize it, or at the very least, if they don't leave a voice message. If you’re really skeptical, Google the number first. If your device is running Android 4.4 KitKat, it has a built-in identification system that identifies these scamming phone numbers.

[via NBC]