Telephone Scams

Major Scam

Don’t respond to emails, phone calls, or web pages telling you to call an “809” Phone Number. 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.

How It Works

You will receive a message 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.

Why It Works

The 809 area code is located in 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 US regulations of 900 numbers, which require that you be notified and warned of the charges and rates involved when you call a pay-per-call” number. Other numbers to watch out for are 284 and 876 area codes.

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. Be wary of emails 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 afterward 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.