Off-Topic: Cell-Phone Scam

I put this out there to see if anyone else has experienced anything like this, or has specific information about who has any legal authority to address this.

Over the past week, I've received repeated calls from specific numbers which I don't know. The past few days, I received calls from a 718 area code number, which services New York City. Today I called them. They are not located in New York City.

The woman who answered did not identify herself. She would not say who or what I was calling. She did answer a few questions:
Q: Is this an office?
A: Yes.
Q: Where are you located?
A: Jamaica.
Q: Jamaica, Queens?
A: Jamaica in the Caribbean.

At this point I hung up.

Here are the phone numbers and the information I was able to find about them:
  • (718)785-5522 is a land-line based in New York, NY, serviced by Allegiance Telecom, Inc, which is owned by XO Communications. This number has been calling me since at least February 26.
  • (876)498-7629 is based in Kingston, Jamaica. This number has been calling me since at least March 2.
It's clearly some kind of scam. I've already reported this to my cell-phone service provider, to make sure I haven't been charged for a fraudulent mis-represented phone call to Jamaica when I called the 718 number.


Anonymous said...

There's an article in today's (Sunday) New York Times - Seven One Eight: To Reach Me in Russia, Just Dial Brooklyn - that sounds very much like like what you are talking about. With the difference that the author wanted this set up. Interesting. Do we call local number / foreign location a meme situation?

Anonymous said...

Utility Consumers’ Action Network is a consumer advocacy organization in San Diego founded in 1984 to protect consumers from utility abuse. Since then, UCAN’s not-for-profit legal team has saved San Diego consumers billions of dollars in unfair utility hikes. In addition to the energy industry, we also work in the telephone, wireless, cable/satellite, gas/auto, and water municipality industries. You can visit our site at www.ucan.org to learn more about us.

Recently we have started to investigate these 876 Jamaican phone scams such as the one you have blogged about here. We have also contacted the Office of Utilities Regulation in Jamaica requesting assistance in our investigation. We actually suspect that there may be involvement of American telecommunications companies in these phone scams, and would love to hear from others regarding this scam as the Jamaican Office of Utilities Regulation has asked us for details of how the scam works.

So, if anyone is interested in seeing others' experiences with the 876 Jamaican phone scam, or providing us the details of their own experiences with this matter in order to assist us with our investigation, please read our blogs on this matter at http://www.ucan.org/blog/telecommunications/landline/800_301_7195_876_536_5711_Jamaican_International_Rates_Scam#comment-2363.

Thank you.
Carter K.
Legal Intern