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THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT INFORMATION PROVIDED TO 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 ScamBusters because it
alerts you to a scam that is spreading *extremely* quickly and can easily
cost you $24,100.00 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.
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 $24100.00.
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 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
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
Additional information can be obtained from the following AT&T WebSite
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