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The National Fraud Information Center has identified an international telephone scam that could cost you hundreds of dollars. Victims are falling for it through e-mail, telephone calls or pages----and it's so easy to become ensnared.
Here is how it works:
·You receive an e-mail, typically with a subject line "Alert" or "Unpaid Account."
·The following message will appear: I am writing to give you a final 24-hours to settle your outstanding account. If I have not received the settlement in full, I will commence legal proceedings without further delay. If you would like to discuss this matter to avoid court action call Mike Murray at Global Communications at 1-809-496-2700
·Or, you receive a phone call telling you to immediately call an 809 Area Code number. There has been a death or illness of a family member.
Since there are so many new area codes each day, people unknowingly return these calls. If you call from the United States, you will be charged $2,425 a minute. Sometimes the person who answers the phone will speak in broken English, pretending not to understand you. Other times, you get a long recorded message. The idea is to keep you on the phone as long as possible. You could be looking at a $100 + phone bill.
What is this all about?
The 809 area code is located in theDominican Republic. Like our 900 area code number, the 809 can be used as a "pay-per-call" number and since it's not in the United States, it is not covered by U.S. regulations governing 900 numbers. Complain to the phone company? Your local long distance carriers will not want to get involved.
·They will simply say that they are providing the billing for a foreign company.
·The foreign company will tell you that they have done nothing wrong.
After all, "You did make the call." You need to be an informed consumer!
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