Woman learns 876 isn't a free area code

  • Updated: January 30, 2013 - 6:36 PM

The scam attempt made on Todd County resident Doris Peterson involved classic elements: sweepstakes, gift cards and overseas phone calls.

According to a sheriff's report filed Wednesday, Peterson received a call from someone with a "foreign accent" claiming to be from Publishers Clearing House. She was asked to buy a Wal-Mart gift card or credit card and call a number with an 876 area code.

She called the number but didn't give up any personal info. Though she was assured the call was free, her phone bill showed a $5 charge, the report said.

Although it sounds like a tollfree number, the area code 876 is assigned to Jamaica, where about 30,000 calls are made daily in an "attempt ... to defraud American citizens," according to an online alert by AARP.

JANE FRIEDMANN

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