Long Distance Phone Depot

Making unaware international calls

International calls are quite expensive. Unfortunately, there are people who wanna profit from this by getting you to make unaware international long distance calls. This could result in very high charges on your phone bill.

What are the international calling scams?

There are currently two scams out there that could result in placing unaware international calls:

  • international pay per call numbers
  • the Internet modem scam

International pay per call numbers scam

Americans nationwide are being lured into calling international phone numbers through ads and other promotions (including receiving messages via email, pager, etc) for interesting or important information. Ads may promise information and entertainment services such as psychic readings, chat lines, employment opportunities, finding out about a sick relative, and more. You may be unaware that some of these numbers are actually high cost international pay-per-call numbers, where a part of your international long distance charge pays for the information or entertainment you receive over the phone.

How is it possible?

While most international calls would require you to dial 011 before the actual number, there are locations outside the United States and Canada, many of them in the Caribbean, where you simply dial the area code and number to reach your party. For instance, the area code for the Dominican Republic is 809. This looks just like an US area code. However, it isn't and there are many other area codes like this.

Ways to avoid this scam:

  • be skeptical of any area code that is unfamiliar to you - you can look it up here
  • make your family aware of this scam - children in particular
  • thoroughly review your phone bill to spot unaware international long distance charges
  • unless you make international calls you can ask your provider to block this type of service

Who to contact for more info or to file a complaint

If you think you have fallen for this scam you can contact either your state Attorney General, or the Federal Communications Commission's National Call Center at 1-888-CALL-FCC (1-888-225-5322). You can also contact the Federal Trade Commission - visit http://www.ftc.gov/ or call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357); TTY: 1-866-653-4261.

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 See also the Internet modem scam
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