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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.

The law killed the adult 900 number business, which moved over to 800 numbers, where billing had to be done by credit card.Due to complaints from parent groups about kids not knowing the dangers and high cost of such calls, the FTC enacted new rules and such commercials ceased to air on television as of the mid-1990s.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.Premium-rate telephone numbers are telephone numbers for telephone calls during which certain services are provided, and for which prices higher than normal are charged.

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

At that time, many evening news agencies conducted "pulse polls" for $.50 per call charges and displayed results on television.

One early use was by Saturday Night Live producers for the sketch "Larry the Lobster", featuring Eddie Murphy. AT&T and the producers of SNL split the profits of nearly $250,000.

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").

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.