Phone Scam Alert

Discussion in 'Credit Talk' started by jamie, Feb 22, 2001.

  1. jamie

    jamie Well-Known Member

    Received in my e-mail. Not directly credit related, but important enough to pass along.
    (Alert from the Better Business Bureau]

    Warning DON'T EVER DIAL AREA CODE 809. This one is being distributed all over the US. This is pretty scary especially given the way they try to get you to call. Be sure you read this & pass it on to all your friends and family so they don't get scammed!


    Don't respond to E-mails, phone calls, or web
    pages which tell you to call an "809" Phone Number. This scam is spreading *extremely* quickly can easily cost you $24,100
    or more, and is difficult to avoid unless you are aware of it.

    We'd like to thank Verizon for bringing this scam to our attention.

    This scam has also been identified by the
    National Fraud Information Center and is costing victims a lot of money. There are lots of different permutations of this scam, but HERE'S HOW IT WORKS:

    You will receive a message on your answering
    machine or your pager, which asks you to call a number beginningwith area code 809. The reason you're asked to call varies. It
    can be to receive information about a family member who has been ill, to tell you someone
    has been arrested, died, to let you know you have won a wonderful prize, etc.
    In each case, you are told to call the 809 number right away.
    Since there are so many new area codes these days, people unknowingly return these calls.

    If you call from the US, you will apparently be charged $2425 per-minute.
    Or, you will get a long recorded message. The
    point is, they will try to keep you on the phone as long as possible to increase the

    Unfortunately, when you get your phone bill,
    you'll often be charged more than $24,100.00.


    The 809 area code is located in the Dominican
    Republic. The 809 area code can be used as a "pay-per-call" number, similar to 900
    numbers in the United States. Since 809 is not in the US, it is not covered by U.S. regulations of 900 numbers, which require
    that you be notified and warned of charges and rates involved when you call a "pay-per-call" number. There is also no requirement that the company provide a time period during which you may terminate the call
    without being charged. Further, whereas many U.S. phones have 900 number blocking to avoid these kinds of charges, 900 number
    blocking will not prevent calls to the 809 area code. We recommend that no matter how you get the message, if you are asked to call a number with an 809 area code
    that you don't recognize and/or investigate further and just disregard the message.
    Be wary of e-mail or calls asking you to call an 809 area code number.

    It's important to prevent becoming a victim of this scam, since trying to fight the charges afterwards 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.

    Please forward this entire message to your
    friends, family and colleagues to help them become aware of this scam.

    Sandi Van Handel

    AT&T Field Service Manager (920) 687-9045
    (877) 479-7902
    (920) 687-9182
    To verify this info, you can search the Internet for "809."

    Council of Better Business Bureaus:
  2. <b>pbm</b>

    <b>pbm</b> Guest

    <b>RE: Phone Scam Alert</b>

    <HTML>Dear Jamie,

    While the "809" area code scam appears to be real, the amount billed per minute is grossly exaggerated. For more information please see the following URLs:

    Note that the link in your post generates an error. A subsequent search for the "809" area code on the BBB web site returns a page that reads "NO INFORMATION AVAILABLE AT THIS TIME."

    The phone numbers included in the signature message have all been disconnected.

  3. Hal

    Hal Well-Known Member has good information on this. All the reliable reports I have seen note an average charge of $20-25.00 per minute. There have also been some instances of these companies purchasing an 800 number and when connected, you are forwarded to an 809 number. This whole scam has been around for many years, and is not new. Like others it has just had the text changed as email is forwarded from one to another.
  4. jamie

    jamie Well-Known Member

    PBM & Hal...Thanks for following up on this for me. I did go to the link and found the same message. However in the BBB search function I found some information on the 809 area code. Pretty scary stuff for those who didn't know about it. Thanks again

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