“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.
DON'T DIAL AREA CODE 809, 284 AND 876 - THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT INFORMATION PROVIDED TO US BY AT&T. DON'T DIAL AREA CODE 809.
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 has 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.
I checked out the Scam Alert Page at FraudBureau.com and here is what it said:
“The 809 scam refers to an innocent recipient receiving a phone, faxed, email or pager message that asks the recipient to telephone the sender of the message immediately using an 809 area code. The reasons that one is required to call back are quite varied and have included:
· notification of winning a prize
· a requirement to call to avoid litigation over an outstanding account (which the innocent victim has nothing to do with)
· a message to call to receive information about a relative who is ill, has died or has been arrested
Once the innocent victim calls the 809 area code number, the victim ends up contacting a person who tries to keep the victim on line or the victim is met with a long recorded message or even a clever recording that responds to the caller's voice. In all cases the scam attempts to keep the victim on the line as long as possible. The reason for this is that some of the numbers in the 809 area code are pay-per-call numbers codes like those in the 900 area code in the US. The result is a large long distance bill. The cost per minute has been recorded as high as $25 per minute.
The 809 number is not the only area code in Caribbean anymore and accordingly the scam can be used with other such numbers. See our article entitled 809 Scam: E-mail Regenerating an Old Scam for more details.
If you receive a message with an 809 area code or with any other area code that you do not recognize, then simply don’t respond.”
Just as with email, do not return a call to someone you do not know, or to an area code with which you are not familiar. If the message is legitimate and it is really important they will call again.