It happens with most high demand products—a black market begins. Supply drops, demand increases, and people start breaking the rules in order to make high-priced sales.
In recent years, we have seen a black market for premium toll free numbers develop in the United States. Despite regulations prohibiting the sale and hoarding of 1-800 numbers, these valuable phone numbers are being sold on the Internet and elsewhere.
Toll free phone numbers have never been more popular. Meanwhile, supplies of available numbers are dropping (reports indicate that less than one-third of numbers remain available) and attempts to illegally buy and sell choice numbers are becoming more commonplace.
According to regulations enacted in the 1990s by the Federal Communications Commission, toll free phone numbers cannot be sold or brokered. These rules were approved after the FCC fielded numerous complaints about price gouging for catchy vanity numbers and popular numeric sequences. The FCC reports that anyone caught attempting to sell or broker an 800 number faces significant fines. Still, the black market continues.
Of course, anyone obtaining a number through these means are putting themselves at risk of getting caught up in a sting or even losing the number if there is a crackdown. It’s best to contact a legal, reliable provider like Tollfreenumber.ORG—which has one of the largest selections of legal numbers—and secure a 1-800 number that works for your company image.