Long Distance Phone Depot

The Internet modem scam

Like the 809 practice, the Internet modem scam is also about paying for unaware international calls. This scam is particularly dangerous because it is not you, but your computer that may place unaware international call.

How does it work

Numerous websites use international dialing to trick consumers into paying to access content. The sites claim to be FREE or advertise that NO CREDIT CARD IS NEEDED, then prompt you to download a "viewer" or "dialer" software. Once the software is downloaded to the your computer, it disconnects the Internet connection and reconnects to an international phone number, at huge rates ($2 per minute the least).

Typically, these scams are associated with adult websites. However, the Federal Trade Commission warns that it will very likely be used by other types of websites such as horoscopes, gambling sites, and other services.

Keep in mind that no credit card is required for these sites, therefore children could be a very easy target.

How to avoid becoming a victim of this scam

  • beware of any software that would enable/require redialing for your dial-up connection
  • if you see a dialog box on your computer screen indicating that it's dialing when you didn't direct it to, cancel the connection and hang up
  • discuss this issue with your children (monitor the websites they access)
  • be skeptical of any too good to be true online promotions

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 809 scam
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