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OT: Fwd: Telephone Scam

Hi- I checked Snopes and this is a real fraud scam. The email exagerates it a bit, but it is real none the less. See:



Hi Folks;

Received the following message from Barry Fox today and a similar
message from Bell Canada recently.


Subject: DON'T EVER DIAL AREA CODE 809, 284 AND 876


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
and 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" area Phone Number.

This is a very important issue of Scam Busters because it alerts you to a
scam that is spreading
*extremely* quickly, can easily cost you $2400 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

There are lots of different permutations of this scam.


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
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.homes that have 900 number blocking to avoid these kinds of
charges, do not work in preventing 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, just
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
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 scam.

Sandi Van Handel
AT&T Field Service Manager
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