Home Stock Quotes Auction Classifieds Games Special Offers Web Pages E-Cards ISP Alerts
|June 09, 2003 - MUSKEGON,
DejaNET Communications today received an email with the subject 809, 284,
876 Area Codes. This email does carry a grain of truth to it, but
the actual email is misleading, outdated, incorrect and should be deleted
and not passed on. The email is a chopped up and heavily modified
version of an original story that was posted by ScamBusters.org in 1996.
An exact copy of the email is shown in full below:
START OF EMAIL
809, 284, 876 Area Codes
809 Area Code
We actually received a call
last week from the 809 area code.
Then this week, we received the following e-mail:
Subject: DON'T EVER DIAL AREA CODE 809, 284 AND 876
THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT
INFORMATION PROVIDED TO US BY AT&T.
This one is being distributed
all over the US. This is pretty scary,
This is a very important
issue of Scam Busters because it alerts you to a
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
There are lots of different permutations of this scam.
HERE'S HOW IT WORKS:
You will receive a message
on your answering machine or your pager, which
If you call from the US,
you will apparently be charged $2425 per-minute.
WHY IT WORKS:
There is also no requirement
that the company provide a time period during
We recommend that no matter
how you get the message, if you are asked to
Be wary of e-mail, or calls,
asking you to call an 809 area code number.
Please forward this entire
message to your friends, family and colleagues to
Sandi Van Handel
This is a hoax - do not pass it on to anyone - simply delete it. If you did pass it on at on point, simply let the other persons) know the truth now that you know it.
The first thing to take notice of is the fact that this message shows the classic signs of a hoax - name dropping (Verizon and AT&T), and the familiar phrase, "Please forward this entire message to your friends, family and colleagues".
Second, the phone number of the AT&T Field Service Manager is missing a digit (should be 10 digits, not 9).
Third, the Dominican Republic uses Area Code 809 - not The Bahamas (which is area code 242).
Fourth, the dollar amount of "$2425 per minute" is wrong and a simple result of this message being foolishly passed on over and over. (The original post form 1996 stated this at $25. Posting to a newsgroup or certain computer systems will not allow using a dollar sign as a directly entered character, so the ASCII version is used instead - which happens to be %24 - someone using a newsreader that did not appropriately display this later saw the %24 and did not realize it was supposed to be the $ character, and instead modified the line to read $2425 thinking that was what was intended). Also, note there is no comma in the dollar amount.
Fifth, the dollar amount in "$24,100.00" suffers from the same issue as pointed out above in my fourth point. The original post back in 1996 was for $100 - once again the ASCII equivalent is %24 - someone changed this to $24 and decided to add a comma this time.
Sixth, you would have had to do a moments worth of digging on a search engine to figure this one out, but the Sandi Van Handel person has never existed nor was an AT&T Field Service Manager. Besides, with a little thought, do you think an AT&T Field Service Manager would make the previous five mistakes I pointed out as well a name a competitor (Verizon) as being the one who pointed this out to AT&T? AT&T is international, Verizon is not - would have made more sense the other way around.
Lastly, there is a grain of truth here, and that is to always be sure of the location of the number that you are calling and to carefully dial the number. Be sure to read the next four links for a better explanation of this email and as always, NEVER BELIEVE EVERYTHING YOU HEAR (on the Internet and in daily life) UNLESS YOU HAVE PROOF TO BACK IT UP. Just because it was read or heard does not make it true - take a moment to verify the facts before passing information on to others.
You can read the original message from the ScamBusters.org October 7, 1996 web page here: http://www.scambusters.org/ScamBusters8.html
You can read the follow-up by Scambusters.org pointing out their original flaw in the Area Codes from their October 12, 1996 web page here: http://www.scambusters.org/ScamBusters9.html
You can read the September 16, 1999 follow-up by ScamBusters.org on the resurfacing of this as an incorrect email here: http://www.scambusters.org/809Scam.html
You can read AT&T's official message regarding this email here: http://www.att.com/fraud/home.html#b
You can read more about this hoax by visiting the following links below:
A search on Google or "809 Scam" returns over 109,000 pages with info relating to this scam : http://www.google.com/search?q=809+area+code&hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&start=0&sa=N
A Handy Tool to verify a
Business or Residence Telephone Number, Area Code, or Address at infospace.com: