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.
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.
At that time, the intent for area code 900 was as a choke exchange—a code that blocked large numbers of simultaneous callers from jamming up the long distance network.
Numbers with the 900 area code were those which were expected to have a huge number of potential callers, and the 900 area code was screened at the local level to allow only a certain number of the callers in each area to access the nationwide long distance network for reaching the destination number.
In many European countries, for example France, Germany and the United Kingdom, it was common for organisations to operate customer service lines on premium-rate numbers using prefixes that fall outside the scope of the country's premium-rate number regulations.
Therefore, in contrast to North America where customer service numbers are typically free of charge to the caller, consumers in Europe often used to pay a premium above the cost of a normal telephone call.
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.
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.When police later confronted Atchley about her story, she admitted to having consensual sex with the man and woman after meeting them on the chat line and directing them to her hotel room.Police said she also admitted to falsely reporting the rape and lying to police during two interviews.A Davidson County grand jury indicted a woman last week for filing a false report after they found she lied about being raped in her hotel room.According to the arrest warrant, Melisa Anne Atchley, 33, later admitted lying to a Metro sex crimes detective after she told police in November that an unknown male and female forced their way into her room at the Hamilton Inn at 837 Briley Pkwy.For example, a "psychic hotline" type of 1-900 number may charge .99 for the first minute and 99 cents for each additional minute.