International Calling Fraud or Deception?

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Copper Contributor
Copper Contributor
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎06-09-2010

International Calling Fraud or Deception?

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I have the Verizon Double Freedom Package- Verizon Online and Unlimited local and long distance calling.  After I received an International call on my bill that I did not make, I learned various stories from various reps.   The international calls specialists, told me that all International calls required a country and city code.    Yet this charge of an international call was supposedly to a regular 1+area code+7 digit #.  How would I know that was an International call.  Doesn't my plan include all long distance calls dialed with a 1+ area code+ 7 digit #.    How could that type of # generate an International call charge, when your international call specialist specifically told me an international call required a country and city code?  Verizon Fraud? 

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Gold Contributor VII Gold Contributor VII
Gold Contributor VII
Posts: 2,000
Registered: ‎05-27-2010

Re: International Calling Fraud or Deception?

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The number 1+area code+7 digit number isn't exclusively for United States numbers.  The area many locations - including Canada and various Carribean locations that use this format number but which aren't part of the United States including such places as the Caymen Islands, Bermuda, Antigua, etc.  

 

While I don't personally have Verizon's phone service and thus can't say what's included and not included ... I would be willing to bet that these locations are probably not included in your calling plan.  Was this perhaps one of the international locations in question?

 

There was a scam being run for a while where they would call people and spoof the caller ID information to show a return number in one of these locations -- where the return number was actually one of those "pay services" (like US 900 numbers) and tell people that is was essentially they call them back immediately for some important reason -- and in the process unknowingly trick people into incurring charges on their bill.

 

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Copper Contributor
Copper Contributor
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎06-09-2010

Re: International Calling Fraud or Deception?

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Yes, but the Verizon International Calls specialist told me for certain all international calls had a country and city code (he was obviously misinformed).  The # called was to a location in Bermuda, but there was no way of knowing it was a call to Bermuda and that there would be international rates charged.  That seems like a deception to me.  They could block calls to the Caribbean or Canada, or let you know you were about to make an international call, but they don't.  If you just have a # to call, for what ever reason, and don't know where the # is located, how can you tell?   Until you get an unexpected charge on your bill.   I am sure they are technically capable of doing something like that, my mobile provider does.  They would rather collect money from this deception.

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Gold Contributor VII Gold Contributor VII
Gold Contributor VII
Posts: 2,000
Registered: ‎05-27-2010

Re: International Calling Fraud or Deception?

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I can't speak for Verizon nor what their tech told you ... but indeed all numbers have a country code and city/region code.  In most cases it's different from the North American "country" code and obvious.  However for a number of smaller locations -- Bermuda among them -- their "country" code is the same as the US and Canada.  It's country code - "1".   The "area code" as we like to call it in the US is nothing more than a region code equivalent -- in your case "Bermuda".

 

Don't disagree that having a way to block non-US (or non-Free dial plan) calls should be a feature they or any provider should offer.  Or at least should have the phone say "you are about to be charged for this call as it's not in your free dial plan" or something and make you press a number of the phone to proceed.  Kind of a "tell me before you charge me".

 

My VoIP provider allows blocking international (or non-free / toll) calls and it may well be a Verizon feature as well. 

 

Fraud's a strong word -- their contract I'm sure clearly outlines what is free and what's not.   

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