Have You Received Collect Phone Calls From A Prison
Inmate? It's a Scam!
If you have received phone call with a muffled recording asking you to press
1 to accept a collect call from a jail, you are probably the victim of a prison
inmate phone scam. Some victims have reported calls billed to their phone from
Correctional Billing Services (run by the company, Securus). Some of these calls
originated in prisons, such as the Geauga County Jail. Last year in Florida, a
group of inmates made $50,000 worth of calls billed to unsuspecting residents
who never even accepted the calls.
According to a report citing Curtis Hopfinger of Securus, "It appears there was
some fraudulent activity at the facility by one or more inmates that, for lack
of a better term, 'tricked' the telephone system into billing calls" to victims.
Securus contracts with jails to provide telephone service to inmates.
Another scam occurs when victims accept a collect call from an inmate and then
follow then inmate's request to make another call on their behalf that involves
dialing a sequence of numbers that includes *-7-2. That starts a call-forwarding
service. The call-forwarding scam basically turns control of the victim's phone
line over to the inmate.
If you think you have been wrongly billed for collect calls from jail or for
long-distance calls, contact the company listed on the bill. If they refuse to
reverse the charges, contact the phone company and the
Better Business Bureau.
Consumers should also contact the jail where the call originated as well,
because deputies would want to open their own investigation to determine if a
scam is being run out of a jail.