Telephone Number Scams

While this scam has been around for some years, too, it seems to have re-emerged after being dormant for several years. This time, it’s NOT a hoax or urban legend…

As my friend Dale Myers said:

quoting “I usually hate emails like this — generally because they are usually hoaxes or urban legends. I got one on another scam the other day from a very excited ‘newby’ — but that one had been floating around the web since the mid 1990s. But Marilyn’s email is accurate — thanks for sending it.” end quote

The Federal Trade Commission warns:

quoting Be cautious when calling an unfamiliar telephone number — it could be a costly international telephone call. Consumers nationwide are being lured into calling international telephone numbers through advertisements and other promotions for interesting or important information. Ads may promise information and entertainment services ranging from psychic readings to chat lines to employment opportunities. You may be unaware that some of these numbers are actually costly international “pay-per-call” numbers, where a portion of your international long distance charge goes to pay for the information or entertainment you receive over the phone.
      You could end up with a hefty phone bill if you call such an international telephone number. That’s because each country sets its own telephone rates and there’s no limit to the per-minute charge. The companies urging you to call have an incentive to keep you on the line as long as possible because they receive a portion of the international long distance charge. The more often you call —and the longer you stay on the line — the more they profit. end quote

How to get ripped off

The 809 area code is located in the Dominican Republic. The charges afterward can become a real nightmare — because you did actually make the call. If you complain, both your local phone company and your long distance carrier will not want to get involved and will most likely tell you that they are simply providing the billing for the foreign company. You’ll end up dealing with a foreign company that argues they have done nothing wrong.

DO NOT DIAL Area Code 809, 284, or 876

This is very important information provided by AT&T. Don’t ever dial area code 809. If you call any of these numbers from the U.S., you could be charged as much as $2,425 per-minute.

READ The FTC’s warning article, or
Download the PDF at the
Federal Trade Commission:
AT&T verification:
SNOPES verification: www.snopescom/fraud/