Telephone Scam?

Last week my wife received a collect phone call from xxxxxx County Jail. To make a long story short, she hesitantly accepted the call. When she tried to get his name, she was told he had just been taken for fingerprinting or some such crap. The point is, the call was disconnected after a certain amount of time, and of course she never did talk to anyone but the ‘jailer’.

Has anyone ever heard of this? This seems very much like a phone slam scam. Where by accepting the collect call, you are agreeing to change to Blahblahblah LongDistanceCompany. I shortly thereafter received a notice from my long distance carrier that my long distance phone service had been changed, and did I mean to do this? When I followed up with my local carrier (and had a pic freeze placed on my line), I discovered it was AT&T that I had been switched to. I called AT&T Residental, they had no record of my number but suggested I try the AT&T Business customer service. O.K., I tried the AT&T business line office. Yep, that was it. My residential phone number was listed under an AT&T customer called Lets Talk Cel and Wireless. As compelling as all this info is, they also show a service date of 5/8/99 which precedes the call from county jail by about two months. Are they one in the same? The AT&T rep said that the service date could very easily be wrong. Has anyone else heard of this? Anyone have any other ‘good’ scams?


My suspicion is that the AT&T thing is just a mixup in their records and has nothing to do with the call from jail.

I don’t know how county jails work. However, I have heard that many prison systems have exclusive contracts with long-distance carriers which cannot be bypassed, and that these long-distance carriers tend to charge fairly high rates. So, if you accept a collect call from someone in prison, you’ll probably pay more for it than you’re used to paying for other collect calls.

Torq, you are correct. Inmates can only make collect calls, and only through the service that the jail or prison contracts with. They cannot have phone cards, nor use 1-800 numbers, or anything like that. And yes, the calls are VERY expensive.

And yes I have personal knowledge of this.


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Enright3, what I’m getting here is that your wife pretty much got bamboozled into switching phone companies by the simple confuse and pounce method! I have to say that I was a telemarketer for 6 loooonnnngggggg yrs :slight_smile: and we had very stringent guidelines we were “supposed” to go by…HOWEVER if given the opportunity and a bad shift; the “confuse and pounce” method was used more then once…

The only advise I have to give to ANYONE is simply cut them off, tell them “No I am NOT interested”, THANK THEM (if you don’t do this in a polite way, well there are ways to pay you back for that as well) and then PROMPTLY HANG UP! I am sorry to say it this way but I was always amazed at some people who I called, as they are flying off the handle, swearing and being down right rude, they all seem to forget that MOST of the time these people calling you ALREADY have your address, phone number, family members and in some cases credit card numbers. This is information that I wouldn’t really like in the hands of a random stranger who I may or may not have just pissed off. I dunno call me paranoid but…

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