809 Area Code Phone Scam this scam is over a year old and people are actually still receiving telephone calls re 809 area code scams. Please do not respond to Emails, phone calls or web pages that tell you to call an 809 area code phone number. This scam can easily cost you $2400 or more, and is difficult to avoid unless you are aware of it.
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, 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.
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 U.S. Since 809 is not in the U.S., 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, where as many U.S. homes have 900 number blocking to avoid these kinds of charges, they do not work in preventing calls to the 809 area code.
It is 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. Again be wary of email, 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.