Wednesday, April 05, 2006

BVI and 809 area code scams, part II

The victims of this scam may have unpleasant associations with the BVI and BVI calling code, but I would like to add that it in no way means that the fraudsters come from the British Virgin Islands. It is even more likely means that they do not live in the British Virgin Islands as well as they do not have an account in BVI bank and BVI offshore IBC. It is likely that they hold their criminally earned money in another, not necessarily offshore, jurisdiction.

By the way, since 1997 the area code for the British Virgin Islands is 284. That happened during a split from the original 809 area code that was for the entire Caribbean region plus some neighbouring countries. The split was necessary to satisfy increasing demand in telecommunication sector. Now 284 is a code for the BVI, 264 for Anguilla, 345 for Cayman Islands, 649 Turks and Caicos Islands, 242 the Bahamas and so on.

How to prevent yourself from getting into such a trap? Firstly, never open unknown email attachments and never make calls to any unfamiliar or suspicious long-distance numbers. Then, always check area code charges before returning a phone call from an unknown source. If it is really urgent, you will be contacted again. Do not return a call from someone you don't know, just because it is urgent. If you receive any type of suspicious solicitation, call the appropriate organization that legally fights frauds.

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