The "809" area code is in the Caribbean, yet most people are not aware that they are making an international call when they dial the "809" area code.
"809" calls can be "pay-per-call" numbers (such as 900 numbers in the US) - and there are no legal requirements that callers be informed that they are being charged extra.
When you return a "pay-per-call" 809 call, they try to keep you on the phone as long as possible, and you are charged very high rates for the call, reportedly up to $25 per minute. Be very careful returning phone numbers to area codes you don't recognize, especially when you receive calls, emails or pages with urgent messages that you call these numbers. Call your long distance phone company's operator to find out where the area code is located (or look it up on the net), and only call numbers that make sense to you.
Two additional "pay-per-call" number scams:
Permutation #1: Internet Based Phone Scam Via Email You receive an email, typically with a subject line of "*ALERT*" or "Unpaid account." The message, which is being spammed across the Net says: I am writing to give you a final 24 hrs to settle your outstanding account. If I have not received the settlement in full, I will commence legal proceedings without further delay. If you would like to discuss this matter to avoid court action, call Mike Murray at Global Communications at +1 809 496 2700 (this number would then be the toll call).
Permutation #2: Phone Or Pager Scam You receive a message on your answering machine or your pager which asks you to call a number beginning with area code 809. The reason you're asked to call varies: it can be to receive information about a family member who has been ill, to tell you someone has been arrested or died, to let you know you have won a wonderful prize, etc. In each case you're told to call the 809 number right away.
Since there are so many new area codes these days, people unknowingly return these calls. If you call from the US, you will apparently be charged $25 per-minute! Sometimes the person who answers the phone will speak broken English and pretend not to understand you. Other times, you'll just get a long recorded message. The point is, they will try to keep you on the phone as long as possible to increase the charges. Unfortunately, when you get your phone bill, you'll often be charged more than $100.00.
Here's why it works: it is not covered by US regulations We recommend that no matter how you get the message, if you are asked to call a number with an 809 area code that you don't recognize, investigate further and/or disregard the message. Be *very* wary of email or calls asking you to call an 809 area code number.