The 1-(900) line scam is a variation on the ages-old prize scheme. The consumer is encouraged, usually through an offer in the mail, to call a 1-(900) number in order to find out what prize he or she has won. The implication is that you have won a large prize - cash, cars, boats, etc. and your brief phone call will confirm which prize is yours.
The offer usually states the cost of the call - often around $4.99 per minute - and the average length of the call, which is usually 7 or 8 minutes. In most cases, your call will be answered by an automated system which makes it impossible for you to speed up the call. More often than not, your "prize" turns out to be an inexpensive trinket. Therefore, you will spend more money making the call than the prize is actually worth.
Before responding to a prize notification card, it is important to read the offer carefully. The odds of winning are usually stated within the offer - you must take the time to read the fine print so you can understand your odds of winning. Also, look for a mailing address which will allow you an inexpensive means of responding to the offer.
If you feel that one of these companies has treated you unfairly, contact the CRTC at (604)666-2111 and request the toll free number for the company. The CRTC requires that 900 line holders have a phone number in place that people can call free of charge if they wish to complain.
1-(900) lines are required to have a message at the beginning of each call which explains the cost of the call and which gives the caller the opportunity to hang up before the call is charged