Hey to all -
Below is an email my Mother-In-Law just sent me. You
can decide for yourself the veracity of the info
contained herein (assuming that you aren't one of
the miniscule minority who resents such notices as
these being put here for the benefit of all readers.)
"The Today Show mentioned this, as did CNN"
"809 Area Code"
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. 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 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 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 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" area Phone Number.
This is a very important issue of Scam Busters because
it alerts you to a scam that is spreading extremely
quickly, can easily cost you $2400 or more, and is
difficult to avoid unless you are aware of it.
We'd like to thank Verizon for bringing this scam to
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
Unfortunately, when you get your phone bill, you'll
often be charged more than $24,100.00.
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
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
Be wary of e-mail, 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
Sandi Van Handel
AT&T Field Service Manager
Well, I hope no one here is victimized by this scam.
I'm just watchin' your back as always ...
God Bless you, and Happiest Holidays -
Author, "First Contact Secrets – Insider Tips Reveal How to Successfully
Connect With the World's Master Marketers" at
(Get your own free eCourse
on making excellent first contacts from my exit pop on the FCS site)