Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by kutnkru, Feb 7, 2001.

  1. kutnkru

    kutnkru LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,662

    ........FRAUD ALERT........
    Forwarded by Detective Craig Fritz, Janesville Police
    Dept., 608-755-3044

    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 & 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" Phone Number. This is very important because it alerts you to a scam that is spreading *extremely* quickly - can easily cost you $24,100 or more, and is difficult to avoid unless you are aware of it.

    We'd like to thank Verizon for bringing this scam to our
    attention. 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, but 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 or 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 $2,425 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.

    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. phones have 900 number blocking to avoid these kinds of charges, 900 number blocking will not prevent calls to the
    809 area code.

    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 and/or investigate further and just disregard the message. 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. 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.

    Sandi Van Handel
    AT&T Field Service Manager
    * 877 479-7902
  2. nlminc

    nlminc LawnSite Bronze Member
    from GA
    Messages: 1,671

    A guy left a message on my machine to call him back to verify my address. He told me to call an 809 #. I never called back because I found out about this scam before hand.
    Sucker probrobly called me on my national toll free line also!


  3. kutnkru

    kutnkru LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,662

    there you go!

  4. Administrator

    Administrator Administrator
    Messages: 865

    If I got a bill like that I would tell my long distance provicer to "suck it" and eat the bill.
  5. kutnkru

    kutnkru LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,662

    I know that this was something that belongs in the off topic forum but I posted it not only there and here but in the snowplow discussion forum as well because I felt it was extremely important. With them calling about deaths in the family and all, I thought I would at least alert those here to this scam.

  6. Randy Scott

    Randy Scott LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,915

    Thanks Kris, that is good to know. There is so much B.S like that going on nowadays. I get so many e-mails of things I have no idea about and there is no way I'm opening those suckers up either. That 809 thing sounds like a hell of a scam, especially when they play off of family members, bas@#rds!
  7. plymouthvaliant73

    plymouthvaliant73 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 167

    With all due respect to kutnkru. :cool:


    Please beware of alerts and warnings you receive by email. There are many hoaxes, scams and urban legends circulating on usenet and by email. Do not pass them on or post them until you have checked them out.

    This one is basically true but contains errors of fact.

    You can read about it at:

  8. kutnkru

    kutnkru LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,662

    this was one alert that came thru IBM (where my gf works) this morning so that is why it was posted. Im no guru just thought it important enuff to post.

    thanks for the updates.
  9. John DiMartino

    John DiMartino LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,555

    Thank Kris,Ill alert all my friends.The question i have is-if your local company doesnt care and the long distance carrier could care less-then how can a foreign country enforce their laws here?Dont pay them dime-what are they going to do to you?I dont think any law enforcement agency would do anything because of a debt in the US Virgin Islands.I cant see this hurting your credit-especially since it is so widespread,and everyone knows about it.
  10. kutnkru

    kutnkru LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,662

    Just another long, dragged out, bureaucratic process I guess John. I tend to agree with you about being justified in not paying though.


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