Long Distance Call Sticker Scam

How the scam works:

You are in an airport or a train station, in a country that's not your own. You need to make a phone call back home, but you don't have the proper coins. Finally, you find a public phone that takes credit cards. The phone, just like many others, has a sticker on it, informing you: “For international calls, dial "1-800-xxxx".

Following the directions you make your call keeping it brief, thinking it'll save you from some of the outlandish charges. But a month later when you finally get your bill, you notice that two-minute call cost you $90!

Scammers will often post official-looking stickers on public phones, advertising their own hot-lines which they set-up in order to rip off victims who believe it's a long distance deal. Several train stations in Rome, Milano, Barcelona, or Monte Carlo are very well-known for this scam.

How to avoid:

Do not make phone calls using your credit card, especially in tourist cities. Not even if the rates are posted. Buy a coffee or a pack of gum to get the change you need. Do your homework before the trip. Get phone call plans and use reputable services.

On the other hand, if you need to use a long distance phone card, buy it directly from the telecom company or from a post office. Get phone call plans and use reputable services.

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