University of Missouri Extension

809 Telephone Scam

The latest telephone scam proving very costly to unknowing consumers involves use of area code 809. Perhaps you have received an E-mail message beginning with an alert to an over due bill. To rectify the problem you must call Mr. So & So at 809---- --- immediately to settle your outstanding account. Area code 809 is for the British Virgin Islands and can be used like a 900 pay per call number. The person who answers speaks broken English and pretends not to understand you, or you get a very long recorded message, raising your phone bill by $25 per minute. The 809 area code is NOT covered under the US regulations for 900 numbers, which requires you to be notified of rates involved and cannot be blocked by the 900 number blocking devices. Investigating or disregarding any 809 area code may keep you from becoming a victim of this scam.


Bob Schultheis - Nov. 5, 1996


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