Long Distance Scam Alert

It appears that the 809 area code scam has become active again. It now may include area codes 284 and 876.

A lot of folks here are cruising the Caribbean for the first time and may not know about this scam. Also they may have their families scammed into returning “emergency calls” or they may not see their phone bills for several months because of mail delays.

Here’s what I just received, I think the countries are actually the DR and Jamaica:

SNOPES SAYS IT'S TRUE: http://www.snopes.com/fraud/telephone/809.asp AT&T ALSO SAYS IT'S TRUE http://www.att.com/gen/press-room?pid=6045 IMPORTANT INFO ABOUT AREA CODE
We actually received a call last week from the 809 area code. The woman said 'Hey, this is Karen. Sorry I missed you--get back to us quickly. I have something important to tell you.' Then she repeated a phone number beginning with 809 We didn't respond. Then this week, we received the following e-mail: Do Not DIAL AREA CODE 809, 284, AND 876 THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT INFORMATION PROVIDED TO US BY AT&T. DON'T EVER DIAL AREA CODE 809This one is being distributed all over the US . This is pretty scary, especially given the way they try to get you to call. Be sure you read this and pass it on. They get you to call by telling you that it is information about a family member who has been ill or to tell you someone h as been arrested, died, or to let you know you have won a wonderful prize, etc. In each case, you are 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 U.S. , you will apparently be charged $2425 per-minute.Or, you'll 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 $24,100.00.WHY IT WORKS:The 809 area code is located in the British Virgin Islands (The Bahamas). The charges afterwards can become a real nightmare. That's because you did actually make the call. If you complain, both your local phone company and your long distance carrier will not want to get involved and will most likely tell you that they are simply providing the billing for the foreign company. You'll end up dealing with a foreign company that argues they have done nothing wrong. Please forward this entire message to your friends, family and colleagues to help them become aware of this scam.


  1. The British Virgin Islands do not use 809 as an area code and the BVI is not part of (The Bahamas)

  2. Great blog! I am currently restoring a Newporter 40 and your shared knowledge has been a big help in my planning. I did have qa question regarding your WiFi rig. Could you tell me specifically whaich antenae you used and what type of cables you interfaced to the weatherized enclosure?


    Tony at tonyzavilenski@yahoo.com

  3. Tony, The antenna is the engenius 8db omnidirectional, not sure of the model number right off, and the cable is the one that comes off the engenius adapter, connected to an active 20 foot USB extension cable with the connection point weatherproofed. Hope that helps. Chuck


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