Scams and Frauds: 809 Area Code


The scammers always amaze me at how clever they can be at ...
... people from their money.
Who would have thought that simply calling asimple phone number could cost a hundred dollars The scammers always amaze me at how clever they can be at separating normal,honest people from their money. Who would have thought that simply calling asimple phone number could cost a hundred dollars or more in fraudulent phonecharges?This scam works this way.
You receive an email, letter, or some othercommunication which seeks to convince you to call a number in the 809 areacode. The message is always urgent (that's a common theme of virtually allscams - they have to happen NOW) and appears important or critical.You may receive a spam email which says something like, "You have 24 hoursto settle your outstanding debt before it is sent to collections.
Call menow at 809-xxx-xxxx to preserve your credit." Call the number and you willbe billed as much as $25 per minute!Some people receive a postcard which states, "You have won! Call809-xxx-xxxx to get your prize." Call the number and you will get your prizeall right - a $150 charge on your phone bill!I've heard of someone that received an ICQ message saying their relative wasin the hospital with a terminal illness. The poor person called the "809"number only to be put on hold for a very long time - over an hour, then gethung up.
He called over and over, frantic and distraught - and got a phonebill of over a thousand dollars!A very clever variant to this scam is a company that receives a FAX or phonecall requesting of all things a fax. Of course, the fax number is in the 809area code.
The company will fax some information back, and get charged overa hundred dollars for the privilege!Here's how this works. The 809 area code is similar in concept to 900numbers.
You get charged either per call or by the minute. The problem isthat the 809 area code is in a foreign country (the Dominican Republic inthe Caribbean) and thus is not covered by United States law.In the United States, all 900 numbers must state in their advertisements andat the start of the call the cost of the call.
You also have a small periodof time (usually the first minute) to hang up without being charged.The 809 area code has no such restrictions. And since you made the callvoluntarily, it's very difficult to get the phone company to reverse thecharges.
In fact, in many cases you will find yourself arguing with aforeign phone company which argues that you did make the call and they didnothing wrong and thus you need to pay.The way to fight this scam is to simply refuse to call any unknown phonenumbers in the 809 area code. In the company that I work in my day job, wehave completely blocked ALL calls to the 809 area code.
We had to do thisafter getting nailed for many thousands of dollars of fraudulent calls.It is also important to understand that 900 number blocking does not applyto the 809 area code. You have to depend upon your own knowledge of the scamand simply resist the temptation to call the number.
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