NortheastTel is warning all telephone customers to be aware that returning unknown missed calls may incur extra charges on your bill. If you return a missed call and that number is either long distance or international, you can be charged the current long distance rates for that call. From your landline telephone, whether with NortheastTel or another provider, even if you have included long distance minutes in your plan, you would still receive charges for any calls that are considered international.  This is also true for cell phones and cell phone plans.

Some telephone numbers, particularly in U.S. territories, do not have the appearance of international telephone numbers. Even though you can reach these numbers with standard 10-digit dialing, they are still considered international and incur long distance charges at a much higher rate than you would pay for domestic (within the lower 48 states) calls. As you may recall, NortheastTel recently warned customers about spam and robo-dialed calls. It would seem that this may be a part of those same unwanted activities. When you receive these calls and you either miss the call or the call drops immediately after you answer it, the perpetrators of this activity are hoping that you will try to return the call. This is a way to increase traffic to their networks and they can then charge for that traffic.

There are steps you can take to avoid any extra charges:

  • Unless you recognize the telephone number, do not return missed calls
  • If you receive a voicemail message from an unexpected caller that leaves a telephone number to return the call, verify the number by using directory services before returning the call.
  • Contact your telephone provider and request they block international calling from your telephone line.