Area Code 809 Scam
Callers will leave messages on your telephone answering machine or your phone's voicemail service. The messages usually sound like an 'alert' and sound quite important, asserting that you must call a phone number within the 809 area code IMMEDIATELY...
- death of a long-lost relative
- 'legitimate' and high-value contest winnings
- someone entered you into a cash drawing that you have won a very substantial prize
- someone has reported a lost (and old) collection of banking/financial papers or cards with your name on them - you must phone the 809 number to recover your ID/prevent identification fraud, etc...
- someone has been arrested and is holding certain documents/ID cards with your identification details on them
- a long-lost relative is in a hospice with a terminal illness and requested contact with family before expiring
- a relative vacationing out-of-country has been in a serious accident, etc.
The message will mention that you must call the number right away to sort out details. The message will sometimes mention the cost of a call is expensive but that the return phone call must be made. Sometimes there is a promise that you can be reimbursed for the call after you have sorted out all the details.
When you do phone the 809-number, what you get is a long message and this ties your phone line up and brings an extreme cost with it!
End Result: nobody died, nobody entered you in a contest, no relative is hurt or in hospital care, nobody has your ID, nobody was really arrested, etc.
If you made the 809 phone call - YOU JUST GOT SCAMMED! Your next phone bill will have EXTREME added costs for having made the call.
Guess The Internet Hoax!
809 Phone Scam
Busted - and Not Busted
Not Busted: A scam like this really has shown up before. Many unsuspecting people have fallen victim in the past to phone-message scams that request a follow-up or return message in order to receive more details.
"Internet Scambusters #34" tells that not only has this scam happened before, but it also STILL OCCURS!
In variations, of course...
BUSTED: The details of the 809 Area Code Scam are totally thriving today, however, what we see are versions upon versions of different 'tales' of 809 scams.
The 'urban legend' elements here are that the dollar values of contest money, as well as phone bill charges seem to be more out of control than a hook-handed man on the run from an insane asylum!
Basically, you have to decide which is worse here:
- The fact that the 809 Area Code Scam has grown to be a larger problem and the scam isn't just kept to the 809 area code...
- Or the fact that 'legend' aspects keep announcing unbelievable dollar amounts, to the tune of - 'you-cannot-believe-what-you-are-hearing-anymore' or some song like that.
To ignore all stories about such scams means that we might get caught off guard at some point, right?
However, the extent to which the scams have broadcast include a huge variety of area codes - do we stop calling EVERY phone number that is left on our anwering machines and voicemail?
This is a 'myth' that is only part-myth, and even though one might think it is not so much related to urban legends (like The Dead Boyfriend or The Hook) as it is to the world of crime and new technological crimes of our times - it is PRECISELY one of the better kinds of urban tale you have to really THINK ABOUT CAREFULLY...
Which means - if it gets you thinking...you might, sooner or later, PASS IT ON!
This myth/not myth will carry on - at times, meshing with real instances of area code scams - then straying into fabrications and embellishments again.
The internet does A LOT to keep this one alive, growing, changing, adapting to different places, 'fads'/timespans, etc.
You'll see the message broadcast through emails and if you do not see the scam message in your email soon - you'll likely receive notification that 'the message' has been 'caught' by the 'Spam/scam-police' and all in all...
What the 'scam' keeps turning to online becomes 'spam' as well.
Ohyeah - the 809 Area Code Scam is a fiesty true-not-true legend.