Beware of the Toll-Free Ownership Certificate Scam


Beware of Fake Ownership Certificates While Porting Toll Free Numbers To Your RespOrg.

A number of telephone companies have been reporting that they are receiving an influx of new toll-free customers that want the telephone company to port a “new” 800 number to their resporg.

Your new customer may attempt to provide what they believe to be a “legitimate” certificate showing that they have the legal rights to the specified 800, 888, 877 or 866 phone number.  Oftentimes these customers have paid upto $5000 for this certificate, but unfortunately they were scammed.

scammer2These home-made 800 number ownership certificates are often made on home computers, they look like they could be authentic but they are far from it.  They come in a variety of designs.

Please note: there have also been unconfirmed reports that con artists are also giving out fake telephone bills (page 1 of the bill) as a secondary proof of ownership.  Neither of these are real or valid and should not be accepted by your company.

The scam works like this…

The con artist will tell the prospective target that they have (or can obtain) toll free numbers for them to have, something that would be too good to be true like 1-800-123-4567.  They typically charge anywhere from a few dollars to $5000 depending on how much they think their target is worth.   The seller of the toll free numbers will then issue what they claim to be a certificate showing that their target is the owner of the new 800 numbers.  The con artist will then tell their target that in order to use the toll-free number; they must transfer it to another phone company.  The con artist coaches the target on how to use this fake certificate to attempt to acquire phone service.

The Federal Communications Commission regulates the use of toll free numbers in the United States and they specifically prohibit this type of “brokering” of toll free numbers.  The article asks that you contact the FCC regarding this scam.

If you encounter this scam, it’s illegal and should be reported to the FCC for investigation.  If you encounter anyone who has been a victim of this scam, please give them the FCC phone number to call and report it 888-CALL-FCC.

Federal Communications Commission
445 12th Street SW                1(888)CALL-FCC
Washington, DC 20554                1(888)225-5322

How to avoid this scam
When porting a toll-free number into your company, always require a copy of your customers’ recent toll-free telephone bill issued from a legitimate Resp-org and verify that the name on the bill and the ring-down number match your records.  (make sure the bill is not fake) and make sure your customers identity is true.  More on transferring a number

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