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Computer criminals have used premium-rate numbers to defraud unsuspecting Internet users.

One scheme involved inducing users to download a program known as a dialer that surreptitiously dialed a premium-rate number, accumulating charges on the user's phone bill without their knowledge.

A call to either one of these numbers can result in a high per-minute or per-call charge.

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.

This practice continues, along with the use of these numbers for things such as software technical support, banking access, and stock tips.

Adult entertainment 900 numbers have been largely absent from AT&T and MCI since 1991.

Earlier, 976 numbers used 976 as a local prefix (970 or 540 in some markets like New York state), though it was not assigned to a specific telephone exchange like other prefixes.

These numbers were dialed as any other number, such as 976-1234.

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").

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.

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