Saturday, December 02, 2006

(809) scam

I’ve recently posted three sports items and now this is my third scam blog in only a couple of weeks.  I’d say it is the season for scams but, unfortunately, it seems it is always the season for scams.  Again, I have not checked this out but I seem to recall having received information on this before.  As always, buyer beware and buyer be careful.  Don’t fall victim to a scam.  Isn’t it better to be safe than sorry?  (P.S.  I’m posting it as I received it.  The money figures seem to be in conflict but I don’t know so I didn’t change the figures.)

“Do you remember reading this? Subject: 809 Area Code scamWe actually received a call last week from the "809" area code.  The woman said ‘This is Karen.  Sorry I missed you—get back to us quickly.  Have something important to tell you.’  Then she repeated a phone number beginning with 809. We didn't respond. This week, we received the following e-mail: Subject: DON'T EVER DIAL AREA CODE 809, 284 and 876.   THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT. INFORMATION PROVIDED TO US BY AT&T.  DON'T EVER DIAL AREA CODE 809. This one is being distributed all over the U.S. and CANADA.  This is a pretty scary scam, especially given the way they get you to call.  Be sure you read this and pass it on to all online friends and family so they don't get scammed! MAJOR SCAM: Don't respond to E-mails, 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.  This scam can easily cost you $2400 or more, and is difficult to avoid unless you are aware of it.  We'd like to thank the companies BELL CANADA and 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 pager, asking you to call back 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; or 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 U.S.A. or CANADA, you'll apparently be charged $24.25 per-minute.  Or, you'll get a long recorded message.  The point is that 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 and you have to pay the bill:
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 and 866 numbers in the U.S. or Canada.Since 809 is not in the U.S. or CANADA, it is not covered by CANADIAN or 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 CANADIAN or U.S. homes have 900 number blocking to avoid these kinds of charge, it will not work to prevent calls on 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 and call your local police department to alert them that the scam is in your area. Be wary of e-mails or phone 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 and try to fight the charges, 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 (920) 687-904”


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