forwarded from a business list
From: Schwarten, Dave
Sent: Wednesday, January 31, 2001 11:48 AM
To: All Hands
Subject: Phone Scam
> Please read the details below and be careful of e-mails, phone calls or
> pages with call back numbers to an 809 area code.
> Thanks, Dave
> 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! because it
> alerts you to a scam that is spreading *extremely* quickly. It
> 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 beginning with 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'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 $24,100.00.
> WHY IT WORKS: The 809 area code is located in the British
> Virgin Islands (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 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
>email 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. 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 involve 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.