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Careless dialing for collect calls

This is a pretty clever and often legal practice also known as "Fat Finger Dialing" and aimed at people who make collect calls using popular services such as 1800 COLLECT. Often unknown and questionable long distance providers register toll free numbers similar to the popular ones (for example misspellings such as 1800 COLECT, etc). When people try to make a collect call and enter the misspelled number they get connected, but the call is made using the wrong long distance provider, charging much higher rates than expected.

What you should know/do:

For both callers and receivers of collect calls: BEFORE placing or accepting the call the company providing the service MUST identify itself and MUST make it clear to you how to identify rates charged. Often, companies taking advantage of misspelled numbers do not identify themselves. Our advise: immediately hang up if you don't hear the name of the company whos services you want to use.

One other thing you can do to acknowledge high charges as a result of the collect call scam is to carefully read your telephone bills. This way you can avoid being overcharged in the future.

Finally, if you are a person making collect calls you can avoid this deceptive practice by dialing carefully.