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Never return a phone call call area codes 809, 284, or 876 because it could rack up charges of $25/minute, or more because you are calling a scammer in the Caribbean. Determination: Real

Scammers are calling all over the U.S. in hopes of getting a return call to rack up the phone bill.

According to a bulletin posted by AARP, calling phone numbers in the area codes 809, 284, 876 will connect you to "Jamaica, the Dominican Republic or the British Virgin Islands, new hotbed homes of telephone scams." AARP reported that similar cons are coming from other Caribbean islands. 

 Some calls could be a recorded message that claims you have won a prize. A newer version of this scam is a computer will call a number, allow it to ring once so the number registers on your call history and then hangs up. When some returns the call to see why they called the charges start ramping.

The rates for these calls,depending on plans and carriers, ranges between $1.49 to $3.99 per minute. AARP warned, "You're never told this, but the numbers function like American 'premium rate' lines that use the 900 area code, with sky-high rates that are split between phone companies and those who operate the lines." 

AARP's solution to avoid these charges: Never call back a strange long-distance number. First look up the area code by going online or checking the area code charts in the front section of your phone book. Don't dial unless you know exactly where you're going. 


 Posted 12/02/14

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