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the 900 area code was completely restructured by AT&T to be the premium-rate special area code which it remains today.
At that time, many evening news agencies conducted "pulse polls" for $.50 per call charges and displayed results on television.
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.
These telephone numbers are usually allocated from a national telephone numbering plan in such a way that they are easily distinguished from other numbers.
Telephone companies typically offer blocking services to allow telephone customers to prevent access to these number ranges from their telephones.
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.
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.
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.
In some jurisdictions, telephone companies are required by law to offer such blocking.
Adult chat lines (phone sex) and tech support are a very common use of premium-rate numbers.