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U S WEST ISSUES CONSUMER ALERT FOR TELEPHONE-PAGER SCAM

     U S WEST ISSUES CONSUMER ALERT FOR TELEPHONE-PAGER SCAM
    SEATTLE, Nov. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- A telephone-pager scam, which has cost pager owners thousands of dollars across the nation, has reached Washington state, U S WEST Communications said today.  Recent reports from two large businesses in downtown Seattle suggest the Puget Sound has become the next target of a simple, yet lucrative, scam.
    Pager owners in several states, including Washington, have been paged with a number from the 212 area code in New York City.  What the victim does not realize, is that when the call is returned, the number automatically forwards to a New York-based 900 service, and the customer is billed $55 for the call.
    "Until police in New York can track down the perpetrators of this scheme, we encourage customers in Washington to be wary of returning pager calls from unfamiliar area codes," said Lisa Bowersock, spokesperson for U S WEST in Washington.  "The majority of pager calls are local in nature, so any time an area code appears on the pager screen, the customer should try to determine if the call is legitimate."
    If a customer has become a victim of this scheme, they should contact their U S WEST account executive or the business office of their local telephone company.
    -0-                  11/7/91
    /CONTACT: Lisa Bowersock of U S WEST Communications, 206-345-6885/ CO:  U S WEST Communications ST:  Washington IN:  TLS SU: JH-LM -- SE005 -- 2273 11/07/91 13:39 EST
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Copyright 1991 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 7, 1991
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