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 did not respond. Then this week, we received the following e-mail: Do Not DIAL AREA CODE 809, 284, AND 876 from the U.S. or Canada. This one is being distributed all over the US ... This is pretty scary, especially given the way they try to get you to call.
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 has 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. or Canada, you will apparently be charged a minimum of $2425 per-minute. And you'll also 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.
Why it works: The 809 area code is located in the Dominican Republic. The charges afterward 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.
AT&T VERIFIES IT'S TRUE – http://www.att.com/gen/press-room?pid=6045
SNOPES VERIFIES IT'S TRUE: