Area Code 809 Warning !
RE: Area Code 809
PLEASE READ BELOW!!!!
THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT PROVIDED TO US BY AT&T.
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 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 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 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.
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
Unfortunately, when you get your phone bill, you'll often be charged more
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. hones have 900 number blocking to avoid these
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 involved and will most
likely tell you that they are simply providing the billing for the foreign
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
Bill Gambill, Deputy Superintendent
Office of Finance & Technology
Georgia Department of Education
1966 Twin Towers East
Atlanta, GA 30334
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