Saturday, February 9, 2008
Beware of 809, 284 and 876 Area Codes
Be cautious when responding to e-mails or phone calls from the 809, 284 or 876 area codes.
Periodically, e-mails warning of a scam involving calls from the 809 area code
circulate. The e-mails contend that there has been fraud associated with
unscrupulous pay-per-call operators in that area code. However, the message
contains some misinformation, especially the highly exaggerated cost of a phone
call to the 809 area code, which is a legitimate area code for the Dominican
Republic. Fortunately, this scam is less prevalent in recent years as a result
of work done by AT&T to eliminate access to fraudulent pay-per-call
This long distance phone scam causes consumers to
inadvertently incur high charges on their phone bills. Consumers usually receive
a message telling them to call a phone number with an 809, 284 or 876 area code
in order to collect a prize, find out information about a sick relative, etc.
The caller assumes the number is a typical three-digit U.S. area code; however,
the caller is actually connected to a phone number outside the United States,
often in Canada or the Caribbean, and charged international call rates.
Unfortunately, consumers don't find out that they have been charged higher
international call rates until they receive their bill.
I am very quick to return all messages left on my answering machine because I worry that it could be something to do with Chris. I'll definitely be more careful! This information is from AT&T so I know it is true.