Re: 809 Area code scam (fwd)

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From: Matt Jensen (
Date: Fri Nov 17 2000 - 18:59:33 PST

I went to (Urban Legends) and searched on "809" [1]. They agree
it is a real scam, although they offer some different details:

1. They do not charge an astronomical rate, but they do try to keep you on
the phone, and are unregulated. cites Chicago Tribune in '96:

"The Internet warning claimed the 809 numbers are the unregulated,
overseas equivalent of pay-per-call 900 services and that the owners
charge up to $25 a minute for connect time. In fact, 809 numbers are
billed just like other international calls. The monkey business begins
outside the reach of U.S. law, where opportunistic foreign telephone
companies cut deals with the crooks, giving them up to 60 percent of the
charges as a kickback, according to officials at AT&T."

(Of course, things might have become worse since 1996.)

2. 809 is actually the Dominican Republic [2], not the Bahamas (242) or
the British Virgin Islands (284) as the UCSC page says. However, a number
of Caribbean countries are suspect, because they do not require use of a
country code. AT&T notes 809, 284, and 876 [3].


[1] is framed, so please search there for "809"

> From: Jim Whitehead <>
> To: FoRK <>
> Subject: 809 Area code scam
> Bottom line: don't call (809) area code numbers, unless you know the person
> on the other end of the line. Failure to do so may cost you over $2k a
> minute.
> for more info:
> - Jim

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