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This type of scam was especially popular in the late '80s to early '90s in the United States before tougher regulations on the 900 number business forced many of these businesses to close.A 1-900 telephone number, in the North American Numbering Plan, has the form 1-900-###-####, and is often called a 900 number or a 1-900 number ("one-nine-hundred").The industry still suffers from the stigma attached to the early days of the industry when adult entertainment lines were heavily advertised on late-night television commercials.Hulk Hogan's Hotline was a lucrative 900 number in the 90s.Another now-uncommon premium-rate scam involves television programming that induces young children to dial the number, banking on the notion that they will be unaware of the charges that will be incurred.One variant, targeted at children too young to dial a number, enticed children to hold the phone up to the television set while the DTMF tones of the number were played.Adult chat lines (phone sex) and tech support are a very common use of premium-rate numbers.
Unlike a normal call, part of the call charge is paid to the service provider, thus enabling businesses to be funded via the calls.
The number used for the radio program was one that was specially arranged by AT&T Corporation, CBS Radio, and the White House, to be free to the calling party.
the 900 area code was completely restructured by AT&T to be the premium-rate special area code which it remains today.
Telephone companies typically offer blocking services to allow telephone customers to prevent access to these number ranges from their telephones.
In some jurisdictions, telephone companies are required by law to offer such blocking.
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While the billing is different, calls are usually routed the same way they are for a toll-free telephone number, being anywhere despite the area code used.