Does a phone scam like this exist?

A friend of mine called me up to ask me a question, me being her go to guy on this stuff. She and her husband moved to Fort Worth recently, and got a bill from their old Austin address. It had some stange calls on it, like several to London to the tune of $1000. They don’t know anyone in London, and disputed the call with the phone company, who investigated it and said “yes, you did. Pay up.”

Is there a phone scam that allows someone to make calls through somebody else’s phone line, or a way that a phone company can and does misbill a phone call like this?

There’s one that uses your answering machine to bill calls to your number.

Someone could plug a handset into the box outside the house easily enough. Most of them around here have a jack for testing purposes.

Yep, and almost no one puts a lock on it, for some reason. It just takes a screwdriver to open the NID and get to the jack inside.

Heh. Maybe the scan is at the phone company’s end: “You made those calls and you can’t prove otherwise 'cause we’ve doctored the records. Now pay up, sucker.”