Ann Landers pay-per-call warning

From the column of February 2, 1997
Dear Ann:
I have learned from your column over the years, and now I'd like to reciprocate by alerting you to a burgeoning racket.

Tell your readers to ignore answering-machine or computer e-mail messages that say you have an urgent message about a sick relative or a bill long overdue that must be paid at once. The number you will be instructed to dial will have an 809, 268, or 664 area code.

These area codes are not in the United States. They are in the Caribbean. These are long-distance calls and can be expensive because you hear a recorded message that is very long-winded. (Intentionally so, of course.) Do not make this call. It's a gimmick to run up your phone bills.
--- A Sucker No More

Dear No More:
According to AT&T, this relatively new scam benefits businesses in the Caribbean that have agreements with certain long-distance carriers.

If you receive such a message from someone you don't know or if you have no dealings in the Caribbean, ignore it. If you call one of these numbers and get a recorded message, hang up.

If you receive a suspicious message or are a victim of fraud, call the National Fraud Information Center at (800) 876-7060.

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