Telephone scams

Telephone thiefThere is a new breed of gangster around. He doesn't have a gun, a knife or a club. He doesn't break your window or steal you car. He doesn't lurk in dark alleys or train stations. He is a phone scammer!! Phone fraud in the United States costs the telecommunications industry more than $4 billion a year. The Phone Companies don't absorb the costs! Dream on!! You, the subscriber are paying. All these costs, including detection and prevention are passed on to the consumer. So what can you do to protect yourself and reduce these fraud occurrences?

Attitude Long Distance operates a Scam Report E-mail List as a customer service. We advise subscribers of the latest scams on an as and when basis. This is not a regular service as we only advise subscribers when a new scam turns up. You may unsubscribe at any stage simply by returning here and unsubscribing. Alternatively you can unsubscribe directly from the Report itself.

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long dsitance carriers We have listed the most blatant scams below:-

Slamming:- The practice of switching your long distance service to another service provider without the subscriber's permission or knowledge. This is totally fraudulent. The principal is that the new rates are higher and go unnoticed in the larger scheme of your monthly bill. Long distance calls are normally targeted as there are fewer and most people are not familiar with long distance rates.

Cramming:- The practice of charging for services which never took place. These bills are normally buried deep into the bill where the average consumer doesn't bother to check. Typical services are billed as collect calls and paging which simply have not been authorized. robber

90#:- If anyone calls for any reason and asks you to press 90# - HANG UP. This combination transfers use of your line to the caller in some instances. This allows them to call long distance at your expense.

900 Regulations:- 900, 500 and 700 numbers are pay-per-call numbers. 80? like 809 have been applied to international long distance calls. These can be pay per call numbers used to obviate the regulations.

jail Lost Calling Cards:- Write your calling card numbers down somewhere safe? Treat it like a credit card and if you lose it or have it stolen, report the loss to your telephone company immediately.

PINs and Passwords:- Never provide your pin or password over the phone.

Money Transfer:- Never transfer money to unsolicited callers. If you have to do this at least look up their number and call them back after checking them out.

Credit Card Scam:- Never divulge your credit card number to unsolicited callers. The current scam is for someone pretending to represent your credit card company. They call and ask to verify your credit card number which they then use for fraudulent purposes. If you have to divulge the number, at least look up their number in the directory (or get it from directory enquiries) and call them back.

809 Scam:-We have had numerous requests about this. We are advising customers not to dial an 809 number unless you know  who is on the other end.

This scam has been identified by the National Fraud Information Center and can cost victims a lot of money. There are a number of different permutations.

For reference please visit these pages:-

FCC Consumer Information Bureau
Unsolicited Faxes and Telephone Calls
900 Number Pay-Per-Call and Other Information Services

You will receive an e-mail or a message on your answering machine/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, to let you know you have won a wonderful prize, etc. 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 can be charged at an extremely high per-minute rate. Alternatively, you get a very long recorded message. The object is to keep you on the phone as long as possible to increase the charges. Unfortunately, when you get your phone bill, you could be charged an exorbitant amount.

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 you should either disregard the message or investigate it properly.

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. Trying to fight the charges afterwards can become a real nightmare. The reason is that you physically actually made 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.

Safe CrackerVanuatu:- A number of surfers/customers have reported that they have been receiving bills from AT&T about long duration calls purportedly made to Vanuatu. (Vanuatu is a Pacific Island North East of Australia.) The international area code for Vanuatu is 09 (678) plus a five digit phone number. The calls were generally made when the billed customer was either away from home or on vacation. Calls have apparently been billed as high a $8.00/minute.

Niue:- A number of surfers/customers have also reported that they have been receiving bills from AT&T about long duration calls purportedly made to Niue. (Niue is a Pacific Island North East of New Zealand.) Most of them were told that the numbers were dialed by their computer and that they were responsible for the bill. The international area code for Niue is 09 (683) plus a four digit phone number. Calls have apparently been billed as high a $9.00/minute.

The scam works like this:-

Surfer goes to an adult website and downloads 'free' software that is supposed to give them 'free' access to heavy porn. The downloaded software is designed to disconnect the computer from your regular internet connection, and dials a number in Niue, without the user being aware of the redial. The scam has remained hidden as surfers are too embarrassed to admit they were on a heavy porn site.

Tell us about the scam you know of by e-mailing . We can't be everywhere all the time. By telling us, we can keep this page up to date and help provide a service for our customers.

Check these phone scam links out:-
International Telephone Number Scams
Voice Mail Fraud and Scams
Crimes of Persuasion: Phone Scams
National Fraud Information Center
The Center For Debt Management: Library
Tele Marketing Scan
Total Recall

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