Telephone Scam Alert – Telephone service providers have forwarded information regarding an international telephone charge scam that may cause customers to unexpectedly incur very expensive charges through their phone bills. The scams involve a call being placed to the intended victim’s phone from a number that ties back to a very expensive international chat-line or adult entertainment site. The caller only allows the victim’s phone to ring once before disconnecting which too often prompts the victim to immediately dial the number on the caller ID back as a missed call. It is the return call by the victim which results in the international charges on the phone bill. International long distance charges apply as well. Victim’s may not realize they are dialing an international number since the outbound call does not require an international dialing pattern. Residents are cautioned about calling “unknown” phone numbers that appear to be long distance, as the phone company will apparently hold the victim responsible for all calls made from the victim’s phone.

The most common “area codes” used in the scams are as follows:

242 – Bahamas

441 – Bermuda

784 – St. Vincent & Grenadines

246 – Barbados

473 – Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique

809, 829, 849 – Dominican Republic

264 – Anguilla

649 – Turks and Caicos

868 – Trinidad and Tobago

268 – Antigua

664 – Montserrat

876 – Jamaica

284 – British Virgin Islands

758 – St Lucia

869 – St. Kitts & Nevis

345 – Cayman Islands

767 – Dominica

Again, the telephone calls come in with no message being left on the victim’s phone. The calls are placed with the intention of the victim unknowingly calling back a for fee chat-line or adult entertainment line. The return call then obligates the victim to pay a very expensive charge to the victim’s phone service.