Washington DC


  Scam | 900 Numbers

The 900 scams are a variation on a prize scheme. The consumer is encouraged, usually through an offer in the mail, to call a 1 900 number in order to find out how much money he or she has won. The implication is that you have won a large prize - cash, cars, boats etc., and your brief phone call will confirm which prize is yours.

The offer usually states the cost of the call per minute - around $4.99 - and the average length of the call, which is usually 7 or 8 minutes. Most of these numbers are linked to a voice response system (a computer), which prevents you from speeding up the call. More often than not, the prize available is minimal (one or two dollars), and you will lose $35.00 for every call you make.

You must take the time to read the offer carefully and understand your odds of winning.

The federal government advises that some telephone companies offer free services that will block access to all 900/976 numbers.

For example blocking services for residential customers are usually free, but customers who change their mind may have to pay a $10.00 fee to remove the block and reactivate 900/976 services.

Some companies charge a fee to block 900/976 services. Offers vary and customers should check with their telephone provider for details.