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Unlike a normal call, part of the call charge is paid to the service provider, thus enabling businesses to be funded via the calls.

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.

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.

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

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

Other services include directory enquiries, weather forecasts, competitions and voting (especially relating to television shows).

Diplomatic services, such as the US embassy in London or the UK Embassy in Washington, have also charged premium rates for calls from the general public.Using 900 numbers for adult entertainment lines was a prevalent practice in the early years of the industry.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.In 1992, the Supreme Court allowed a law passed by Congress that created a block on all 900 numbers that provided adult content, except for those consumers who requested access to a specific number in writing.In some jurisdictions, telephone companies are required by law to offer such blocking.

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