The Ventura County District Attorney’s office has issued a warning about a scam that’s surfaced in the county in which people are duped into allowing prison inmates to charge collect calls to the victim’s account.
Prosecutors say it starts when someone calls you with a supposed emergency, and says you have to dial “Star 72″ followed by a phone number. When the victim does that, an accomplice says they’ve reached a wrong number. But, by dialing “Star 72″ first, it means that all subsequent calls will automatically be forwarded to that phone number. The con artist is then free to accept all phone calls which go through the victim’s phone, with the victim getting stuck for the tab for the collect calls.
While the Ventura County jail system has technology which prevents the scam from being used by prisoners there, victims have been reported in Ventura County.
The prosecutors say if you receive a notification you are getting a call from a jail, or prison, or someone asks you to call “Star 72″, you should be aware you are being targeted.