Los Angeles County Jail Inmates Engaging in New Phone Fraud Scam
Posted: 18 Aug 2011 10:17 AM PDT
Beware – inmates who are incarcerated in the Los Angeles County jail are targeting random members of the public with a new phone fraud scam. Inmates are calling people and yelling “Emergency!” while a recorded warning plays that states the call is from an inmate so that the receiver of the call cannot hear the warning.
The inmate then states that he works at the jail and has information about a loved one that has been injured or arrested and tells the victim to call a sergeant for more information. This is where the “prank” call turns into fraud and ends up costing the victim. The inmate instructs the victim to dial *72 followed by a phone number, the number of which is usually to a girlfriend or a fellow gang member. *72 is actually a code that transfers a call to the phone number that follows it.
Inmates then make calls to that number without the victim’s knowledge at the expense of the victim. And because collect calls are so expensive, victim’s phone bills can total thousands of dollars before they even become aware of the issue.
Law enforcement urges anyone who appears to be a victim of this scam to hang up and call their local sheriff’s department.