500, 700, and 809 Area Code Fraud

The New York State Office of General Services has recently informed Senator Balboni of a toll fraud scheme resurfacing that can affect everyone whether at work or at home. It involves receiving a message via page, e-mail or left on an answering machine to call a telephone number in the 500, 700, or 809 area code. You should under no circumstances return this call unless you know who you are calling!

The 809 area code is located in the Dominican Republic and some of the numbers in the 500 and 700 area codes are in the country of Vanuatu. All can be used as a pay-per-call number, similar to the "900" numbers in the United States. Since they are not in the U.S., they are not covered by U.S. regulations, which requires callers to be notified of charges and rates involved. Therefore, callers are unaware of any cost until they receive their telephone bill, including these fraudulent calls, which can be billed at rates of $25.00 per minute and potentially more!

Again, you are encouraged to be alert to these toll fraud schemes when using your office and home phones. These schemes have been going on for some time and will likely continue in the future. Please feel free to contact Senator Balboni's District Office with any questions.

Report sent by the Office of
NYS Senator Michael A. L. Balboni