809 Area Code Scam Warning Is Misleading - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

809 Area Code Scam Warning Is Misleading

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KENNEWICK, Wash. - On Wednesday the KNDU newsroom received an email warning about a clever phone scam. Our research found the scam is real, but the warning is misleading.

It talks about a scam where someone calls you and leaves a message saying "Someone in your family has died," or "You've won a prize."  The person asks you to call them back at a number with an 809 area code. But the email says if you call the number you get charged outrageous international rates, up $24,000.

Here's the truth, if you get a phone call like that some is trying to take your money, so don't call it back.  But not every number with an 809 area code or others listed in the email is a scam.

"If you know someone in those area codes and you call them all the time that's not the problem. The problem is the specific numbers your being given to call," said Norma Miller, Better Business Bureau.   

The 809 Area Code Scam actually dates back to 1996. Back then Internet Scambusters sent out a warning, but over time the facts got changed. The email has several inaccurate facts, and exaggerations. If you get it again just use common sense.

To find out more information on the 809 Area Code Scam go to our home page, highlight the "News" tab, click on "On Air Links" in the drop down menu, then click on "809 Area Code Scam."