FCC Launches ‘Scam’ Glossary

Know what an “809” scam is? How about a “Wangirl” scam? Or “slamming?” How about the “Ole’ Idaho Dipsy-Doodle?”

Well, I may have made the last one up, but the Federal Communications Commission has launched a new glossary of scams to help protect consumers from being victimized by illegal robocalls and fraudsters.

An “809” scam, for those of you who do not know it, is “a scammer leaves an urgent voicemail and a call-back number with an 809 area code. While it appears to be a three-digit U.S. area code, it’s actually an international number. If you call, you’ll be charged international rates while the person answering tries to keep you on the line as long as possible. Similar to the ‘One Ring’ Scam.”

The glossary is not just chock full of names for different scams, either. It also provides definitions and explanations of different terms for illegal activities. “Slamming” — for example — is when one phone company switches a consumer to their service without first obtaining the consumer’s permission, and then bills the consumer for services that were not requested.

To its credit, the FCC is going out of its way on the consumer education and rulemaking front to try and protect consumers from robocalls and other scams. Along with definitions, the glossary also includes links to more details about the different terms and instructions about what to do if you feel like you, or someone you know, has been victimized.

For companies in the credit and collection industry, the glossary could be a resource that is mentioned during conversations with individuals who feel like they are being scammed or have been scammed in the past.

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