Houston County Courier - Local News
Stories Added - August 2008
Copyright 2008 - Polk County Publishing Company
Beware of Phone Scam
Houston County Courier - August 2008
Houston County Sheriff Darrel Bobbitt said complaints have come into his office from citizens who have received phone calls reportedly from Harris County Jail and someone asking them to accept a collect call.
If the person accepts the call, they are asked to dial *72 and another number.
When this happens, the person who accepted the collect call activates the call-forwarding feature on their telephone.
When the call-forwarding feature is activated, all calls that come into the original phone number are forwarded to the other number.
The person to whom the phone has been forwarded can then accept collect calls from the jail.
The telephone bill is sent to the original telephone number called, not the number it was forwarded to.
"It is a scam used by the inmate in order to talk with their family members and friends at no cost to them," Sheriff Bobbitt said.
Sheriff Bobbitt said many people do not even realize they have the capability to use call forwarding on their telephones, which make them especially vulnerable.
He stated that if anyone has fallen victim to this scam they should contact their telephone company and explain what has happened.
Generally call-forwarding is a subscription service and the customers telephone company can tell them if they have the service on their phone.
Sheriff Bobbitt warns citizens that if they are unsure about something, it’s better not to act on it until you understand it, and remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.