Listers this warning was distributed around at work and I thought that
you may find it of interest. Joe(B)
> DON'T EVER DIAL AREA CODE 809
> This one is being distributed all over the US. This is pretty
> 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!
> MAJOR SCAM:
> Don't respond to Emails, phone calls, or web pages which tell you to
> call an "809" Phone Number. This is a very important issue of Scam
> Busters=21 because it alerts you to a scam that is spreading
> *extremely* quickly - can easily cost you $24100 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
> receive a message on your answering machine or your pager, which
> you to call a number beginning with area code 809. The reason you're
> asked to call varies. It can be to receive information about a
> member who has been ill, to tell you someone has been arrested,
> to let you know you have won a wonderful prize, etc. In each case,
> are told to call the 809 number right away.
> Since there are so many new area codes these days, people
> return these calls. If you call from the US, you will apparently be
> charged $2425 per-minute. Or, you'll get a long recorded message.
> The point is, they will try to keep you on the phone as long as
> possible to increase the charges. Unfortunately, when you get your
> phone bill, you'll often be charged more than $24100.00.
> WHY IT WORKS: The 809 area code is located in the British Virgin
> (The Bahamas). The 809 area code can be used as a "pay-per-call"
> number, similar to 900 numbers in the US. Since 809 is not in the
> 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
> 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
> 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 email or calls asking you to call an 809 area code
> It's important to prevent becoming a victim of this scam, since
> to fight the charges afterwards can become
> A real nightmare. That's 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
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