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Quick Answers...Fraud/Scams


I have heard about a scam involving messages left on voice mail or pagers. What is it about?

Too many Missourians have been victims of having a message left on their voice mail, E-Mail or pager requesting an urgent response. The messages all have the same theme - the person is urged to call a telephone number to find out about a "sick" relative, claim a prize, or to settle an unpaid account. Too many have dialed the number assuming it's a legitimate business call and have been put on hold listening to recorded chatter or other delaying tactics.

The calls too often turn out to be to a foreign country with area codes such as 809, 284 or 876. International phone charges are charged the whole time - which may be as much as $25 per minute.

Before returning any "urgent" calls, check the area code first. If you never call abroad, ask your long distance providers to block outgoing international calls. Report suspicious phone charges as soon as possible to the Federal Communications Commission,




Written by: Cynthia E. Crawford, Ph.D., Family Financial Education Specialist, University of Missouri-Extension




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Last update: Wednesday, April 19, 2006




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