|801 Scam Alert|
Everyone knows the 800 number is a toll free call (there is a list of other legitimate toll free codes further down the page).
There are media reports companies are using the 801 number in place of the 800 number in their advertising. The apparent intent being to deceive people into thinking the 801 phone number is a derivation of the 800 phone number and would therefor also be a toll free call. It is not.
The 801 number is the area code for a part of Utah. Don't know if the companies are actually putting call centers there or just having the number forward to where the company's call center really is. Either way, your next phone bill will include full long distance charges for your call to Utah.
Any company unethical enough to pull this stunt is more than likely routinely doing other unethical things as well. If you see an 801 phone number, and the company isn't already known to be primarily located in Utah, it would probably be advisable to avoid that 801 number and company altogether.
Update, 2013The 801 area code phone number is also being used in text message scams.
Update, 2014Beware emails having the 801 number listed in their message.
Update, 2015The 801 area code phone number is also being used as a fake caller ID number for phishing and outright fraud and other scams. If receiving a call from this number, simply do not answer. If you see an 801 area code in your voice mail list, do not activate the message; simply delete it. Malware can as easily be sent to a phone as to a computer.
[This sure is a heck of a note for the folks who live in the 801 area code part of Utah. Wouldn't be surprised if the State of Utah were to eventually have the number changed to one that couldn't be mistaken as toll free. Not to mention the fact the number's reputation has been completely ruined anyway. (An update regarding the affected areas of Utah... The 801 area code area now has an overlay area code of 385. In other words, residents can choose which area code to be associated with.)]
Updates, 2016The scams continue. In fact, they are getting worse. And not just the scams involving the 801 number. There are media reports all other phone scams are being ramped up as well.
There Are Six Legitimate 800 Number Toll Free CodesAccording to the FTC, the current toll free codes are:
Updates, 2017An apology. The hosting platform for this site is Blogger, owned by Google. I just discovered they haven't been notifying me when comments are being made and need to be moderated for publication. So if your comment doesn't show up right away, that is the reason. Going forward, I will regularly check the unmoderated comments section whether notified or not.
Please do keep posting suspicious 801 numbers. The search engines eventually index those numbers and will continue to point future potential victims here to be warned.
Three Worthy Resources to Read and Share at Your Leisure
- IRS – Internal Revenue Service Information Page About Tax Scams
- FTC – Federal Trade Commission Page About Phone Scams
- BBB – The Better Business Bureau Scam Alerts Page