|Re: Phone Scams|
|Wednesday, 27 January 2010 08:05|
Sheriff Paul C. May has released the following information
Reference: Phone Scams
Sheriff Paul C. May wishes to inform the public to beware of phone scams plaguing the Okeechobee County area.
The Sheriff’s Office has received an increase in complaints of phone scams being perpetrated on the Okeechobee citizens. These scams are used to either trick the victim into sending money or, just as costly, forward control of the victim’s phone over to another person. These scams are as follows:
Inmate Phone Scam: The caller calls from a phone within a correctional facility in another county (usually Miami). The prisoner convinces the victim to call a long distance number preceded by *72 (for example *721-863-3117). The use of the *72 prefix gives the prisoner total access to the victim’s phone. He/she can make unlimited long distance phone calls on the victim’s bill. The prisoner usually allows all the other prisoners to use this access as well. This can run a victim’s phone bill up to thousands of dollars. This scam is prevented by not accepting calls from correctional facilities from people not known by the victim. NEVER forward control of your phone by dialing *72 before a strange phone number.
Bail Bondsman Scam: The caller contacts the victim by phone and convinces him/her that he is a bail bondsman. The caller claims that he is attempting to bail the victim’s loved one (son, daughter, etc.) out of jail. The caller tries to obtain personal information on the victim as well as have the victim forward money to him. This scam can easily be prevented by calling the allegedly incarcerated loved one.
Grandparent Scam: The caller contacts the victim on the phone and convinces the victim that they are the victim’s grandchild. The caller then tells the victim that they are stuck and in trouble and need money. The caller has the victim send money to them without calling the parents of the child. Once the money is sent, it is discovered that the caller was not the grandchild. This scam is easily prevented by calling the family member prior to sending the money.
These scams have all existed in one form or another and frequently have new “twists” added to them to make them more fresh and successful. These scams usually go unsolved as the suspects usually use payphones and prepaid cell phones. Always use caution when receiving strange phone calls, especially when they ask for money to be sent.
For any further information, please contact:
Detective Ted Van Deman, Public Information Officer
Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office
504 NW 4th Street
Okeechobee, Florida 34972
(863) 763- 3117
(863) 763- 7157 fax