Phone FAQs

Why am I seeing international charges for calls I did not make (809 area code scam)?


You may be a victim of the 809 area code scam.

How the scam works

The 809 area code scam causes consumers to inadvertently incur high charges on their phone bills. Consumers usually receive a message telling them to call a phone number with an 809, 284 or 876 area code in order to collect a prize, find out information about a sick relative, etc. The caller assumes the number is a typical 3-digit U.S. area code; however, the caller is actually connected to a phone number in Canada or the Caribbean and charged international rates.

Tips for avoiding this, and other, telephone scams

  • Return calls to familiar numbers only – As a rule, return calls from numbers that contain familiar or recognizable area codes. Call Directory Assistance or use Google to check the area code location.
  • Carefully read your telephone bill – Ensure you thoroughly understand all charges listed on your phone bill, have chosen to do business with all of the listed providers and have authorized any additional fees invoiced. If your local service provider has changed, you will receive a final bill from the former provider and a notice of service disconnection.

If you believe you have been scammed

Contact the carrier with whom the charge originated, whose name and toll-free telephone number should be printed on the same bill page as the charge in question. Often, the problem can be resolved with a single phone call.

If, however, the carrier with whom the charge originated does not agree to resolve the problem, contact us. We will work with you and the carrier to help remove fraudulent charges from the phone bill. You should also file a complaint online with the Federal Communications Commission at fcc.gov.