questionshave you gotten a call from the 284, 649, 809…


Thanks for the heads up! Despite being on the no-call list, I've noticed an uptick in 'random calls'. I'm pretty firm on not answering numbers I don't recognize. (So they tend not to leave a message.)


Calling an area code outside the US should always require dialing an international area code prefix. In other words, this scam should not be possible by simply dialing 1+scammy area code+phone number.


The phone companies are part of the problem, for sure. Your example is an obvious case where the phone company should be OBLIGATED to warn you before you are charged. The technology exists for phone companies to be better, they just choose to suck.

Two AT&T (and AT&T mobile) examples from my experience:

1. AT&T encourages third parties to add scams to your bill, and they make you fill out some impossible set of forms if you want to prevent/block it. AT&T won't call you to confirm those new 3rd party company charges, and they won't refund them (you have to work with the scam 3rd party company)

2.AT&T also doesn't have any way to block unwanted calls unless you purchase their package for families at an additional $12 a month (which only lets you block 25 numbers).


But, how does this "scam" help the scammers? They don't benefit from you making an international call, do they?

If you use Google voice, you can block (or at least not have your phone ring) any number you want as long as you have it in your contacts.


@benyust2: It's possible that they own the entire prefix. Say they own all of 809-215, for example. They would be the "phone company" collecting the call connection charges from the calling party.


If you get an unsolicited message promising a free prize, just ignore it.

Problem solved.


Or don't answer unknown numbers. if it's important, they will leave a message.


I automatically ignore any call that involves a recorded message. If you really wanted to talk to me, you'd have a person call.


I am on the do not call list, but I still get a lot of calls from numbers I don't recognize with the name "unavailable". I sometimes use the whocalledme dot com search and see which company it is, and it is usually someone trying to sell something. What I absolutely hate is the technology that allows someone to call and the number is somehow changed (I don't know how that works but I imagine my fellow-wooters might) in transmission so that it shows up as something entirely different on my caller ID and is not traceable through the web. Hate it, hate it, hate it. My talking caller ID has trouble with the word "unavailable", but I understand it now. Trouble is my daughter's number comes up that way.


@samstag: You mean even the billion dollar lottery I won? Or the estate left to me by an unknown relative in Nigeria? I am not stripped of hope for my future fortune!


@90mcg112: that's definitely not true of Canada. i've personally dialed canadian numbers from my cell without a country code. not sure about other area codes.

@bogie21: for people who use their cell phone for work, answering can be important. No one wants to be the guy who never answers when a client is trying to reach them.


For verizon wireless users, verizon now has a simple and free way to block 6 or so numbers for 90 days. After 90 days the blocks expire but you can add them again. You can add the numbers from your "My Verizon" account page online.


@smtatertot13 Canada and the US have the same country code (1)


@bb81398: More proof that Canada is the 51st state!


@klozitshoper: "I sometimes use the whocalledme dot com search"

When I try that URL (properly typed, of course) I get a sort of funky looking page with a bunch of look-up options. Is that the true page you mentioned?


@magic cave: So sorry I was away from the computer so long. The site is who calls me BUT I don't go directly to it and I should have been more specific with my answer. I type who calls me or called me - doesn't really matter - followed by the number into Bing (my default search engine). It usually brings up results with the number listed several times from different sites such as who calls me et al. Therefore, I don't usually need to go to the site because there are already comments on the results from several sites and I usually don't have to do much more than click on that comment.. Egad, that is what happens when I try to succinct!! So sorry.


@meh3884: Thanks for the reminder. I have Verizon, and I should use it for all of the water testing calls that we here in Florida anyhow receive on a multi-week basis.


@klozitshoper: No need to apologize -- many thanks for the explanation. I often just enter a phone number into google to see what comes up; it's especially useful for tracking down "mystery charges" on one's checking account.


@klozitshoper: We're getting 3-4 of those wretched calls every day. Time to start filing complaints with the Florida AG's office, I guess.


You can trace and get to know who the caller is by doing reverse phone lookup at