Payphone Fraud
Sept 2008

A friend needed to call me, but was in an area without cell phone coverage. Simple solution - use a pay phone.

BIG mistake - never use a pay phone ... or a phone in a hotel or a hospital.

Credit Card Bill | Phone Bill | Related sites | The Scammer's Details | Zero Plus Dialing | Closing Thoughts

Credit Card Bill

You pick up the phone, dial zero (for the operator), and you get a phone menu. There is a request for a credit card number and next thing you know you are connected.

There is no indication of what this might cost, no way to make a decision.

These are 2 charges that appeared on a credit card bill - I have blocked out the number that was called (for obvious reasons). One number was a misdial to a cellphone that was out of range (actually in the pocket of the person making the call). The other was for about 2 minutes (a guess really since that information is not provided).

The call was from West Virginia to Virginia - federal interstate regulations should apply.

Phone Bill

We also tried to make a collect call from West Virginia to Virginia.

Since I did not make the call, I am not sure exactly what was said ... but ... these snakes really socked it to us.

Related sites

The surprising thing is that only 2 sites (3 pages) listed 800-595-9694 in this scam Searching for ncic zero plus produced a lot more hits. Ripoff Report has 69 related reports

It turns out that the best thing to search for is zero plus dialing

Cram this: a firsthand account of my recent cramming presents another side of these companies - signing you up for services you did not ask for.

The Scammer's Details

Phone:  800-5959694
 P.O. Box 551 Longview Texas 75606
Longview, Texas, 75606
Other phone numbers I found on the web From the NCIC web site, From the bottom of the page
Network Communications International Corp.
P.O. Box 551
Longview,  Texas  75606
    (888) 686-3699 
    (903) 757-4455
Fax (903) 757-4899 

A Rate Schedule

After many hours of research, I found a rate schedule that MIGHT explain this. However, nothing is that simple - there are actually 18 different rate schedules, and there is no way to know which applies. In one, calls are $4.00 per minute.

In addition, my 6 minute (minimum) collect call cost $43.89 ... not $22.43 ... which is still outrageous (though quite close to the credit card charges).

And just to slap everyone in the face, calls to Mexico are much cheaper than calls to the next state - $5.99 to connect and $1.15 per minute.

Zero Plus Dialing

This phone bill was submitted via Zero Plus Dialing which is owned by Billing Concepts, Inc. which also own a number of other "companies". Please be careful if you have anything to do with one of these.

Closing Thoughts

Be warned. Be afraid.

Since these rigged pay phones are the ONLY way to make a call (remember - there was no cell service), these companies are basically interstate monopolies. They provide a service, lie about how much it will cost, and then charge what ever they want.

These scam artists are robbing thousands of people ... and no one is standing up for us.

Wait ... it gets better - hospital phones (in some places) are wired through these !@#$%. So are hotels.

Suggestion, start a local movement to have these scam artists banned from your local community ... or at least have a required sticker - $22 minimum per call, $44 minimum collect.

Author: Robert Clemenzi
URL: http:// / blogs / Payphone_Fraud.html