Another Scam, phone this time

Discussion in 'General OFF TOPIC' started by Sheepdogmarine, Dec 15, 2008.

  1. Sheepdogmarine

    Sheepdogmarine Active Member

    I hope this is okay to put up here. One of my customers sent it too me in an email. Can't hurt to be aware of it.


    We actually received a call last week from the 809 area code. The woman said 'Hey, this is Karen. Sorry I missed you--get back to us quickly. I Have something important to tell you.' Then she repeated a phone number beginning with 809 . 'We didn't respond'

    Then this week, we received the following e-mail:

    Subject: DON'T DIAL AREA CODE 809 , 284 ;AND 876

    This one is being d istributed all over the US . This is pretty scary, especially given the way they try to get you to call.

    Be sure you read this and pass it on.
    They get you to call by telling you that it is information about a family member who has been ill or to tell you someone h as-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 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 $24,100.00


    The 809 area code is located in the Dominican Republic. They are not regulated by the US laws.

    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 frie nds, family and colleagues to help them become aware of this scam

    Sandi Van Handel
    AT&T Field Service Manager

    Maybe it will save someone some grief.
  2. krikket

    krikket Active Member

    In another scam post, I had mentioned I was given a phone number to call. I googled the phone number and a lot of complaints came up filed with the Better Business Bureau. If you get a strange phone number and you have the means, google'll be suprised!!!
  3. M0sesJJN

    M0sesJJN Member

    See the following link to "Truth or Fiction" website:

    Don't call area 809 and other Caribbean codes-Truth! and Fiction!

    Scam Artists Are Working out of Area Code 809, 284, or 876 So Don't Call There

    Truth! & Fiction!

    Summary of eRumor

    The email warns never to call area code 809, 284, or 876 because you could get charged $25 or more per minute for the call. It goes on to describe various ways in which scam artists in the Virgin Islands are tricking people into returning their calls, then charging outrageous rates for making the call. (Complete versions are below.)

    (Moe - I had to remove the complete versions; Truth or Fiction's website has one identical to the post above. This forum won't let me post that many words so I had to omit the sample e-mails. I work for AT&T, I cannot find a 'Ms. Sandi Van Handel' in our company wide directory. I also notice Ms. Handel's phone number was a digit short so you can't look it up.)

    The Truth
    This is one of those eRumors that was wrong to begin with and has gotten even more confusing as it has circulated. We'll try to unravel it.

    The bottom line is that you don't need to completely avoid calling area codes 809, 284, or 876, especially if you know who you are calling. You do need to be suspicious about strange messages you might get that ask you to return a call to the Caribbean.

    Here are the details:

    1. The original eRumor warned not to ever call area 809 and that if you did, you would be subject to outrageous charges from scam artists in the Virgin Islands. Area 809 is a legitimate area code in the Caribbean, (which at the moment is the area code for the Dominican Republic), and there has never been any danger from making a normal call to there. There have been scam artists, however, that operated out of the Caribbean by leaving messages for people who, when they returned the call, were unknowingly dialing a number that automatically billed them extremely high charges. That was the reason for the warning. Folks were charged anywhere from $10 to $100 per minute and were kept on the line as long as possible. Some of the messages asked for a voice call in return. Some asked for information to be faxed.

    2. The original eRumor did quote Scambusters ("Internet Scams, Identity Theft, and Urban Legends: Are You at Risk?"), but they warn that the message picked up some wrong facts along the way and they are not the source for
    all of the information.

    3. Telephone companies have issued warnings to consumers in the United States about how easy it is to be dialing a Caribbean number without realizing that it's an international call and will cost more than a domestic call. Normally, an international call from the U.S. is preceded by dialing "011." The Caribbean calls are international, but with domestic looking area codes.

    So what has happened is that the warning about the scam artists was turned into an unnecessary warning to never call area 809 and now the caution about being aware of the Caribbean area codes being international calls has been wrapped up with the story about the scam artists and turned into an unnecessary warning to never call 809, 284, or 876.
  4. Sharky1948

    Sharky1948 Junior Member

    Thanks for pointing out what we all should know (but apparently do not) by now.

    Advice to others: before forwarding emails, advising others of internet "dangers", etc., etc., do your own research!

    By promulgating the untrue rumors, we are only adding to the e-pollution that is so abundant already!

    JMHO. Sorry about the rant!
  5. Sheepdogmarine

    Sheepdogmarine Active Member

    Good point. I guess there is a little truth to it though. I would never call anyone back that left me that short and uninformative of a message. Just use common sense.

    My jacket is keeping me nice and warm these days!:D

    Ride safe!
  6. Sharky1948

    Sharky1948 Junior Member

    Glad you're enjoying the jacket!

    And, yes...common sense goes a long ways! (Not that I was endowed with a great deal of it...:p)