(53 votes)

Collect Call from Prison

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How the scam works:

(with video below) If you ever receive a phone call from your local prison on your house phone and the operator tells you to press 1 to receive a collect call, don’t accept it (unless your buddy is arrested on a regular basis and you know he always calls). Many victims accept these collect calls because they don’t know who might be on the other side.

Watch the video below to see the Collection Call Scam told by a victim or read on.

Collection Call Scam Told By A Victim Video

How does this scam work? Whenever allowed to make phone calls, real inmates dial random numbers until they find somebody willing to help. As soon as the victims answer, the scammer comes in with a quick apology for disturbing them followed by an emotional short story, such as being thrown in jail because he beat up a guy who assaulted his daughter, an hour ago.

The prisoner will ask the victim to call a number where supposedly his daughter is, to make sure she is okay. He will say that the number is impossible to reach from the prison he is in, or that they are not allowed to call cell phones. People fall for this scam as they think they are doing a good deed.

In reality, what victims do when dialing the number provided is just… call-forwarding their own telephone lines. This way, after getting you to forward the number, the scammer can call anywhere he wants, without being charged.

In a different variation of the scam, the callers cannot even be jail mates. They could be regular scammers trying to make phone calls on your dime. For example, they would pick names from the phone book with specific ethnicity and tell the operator they are part of their family.

How to avoid:

Check the forwarding code in your country and make sure you never use it when asked to by someone else. For example, in US the code to forward your number if you belong to the Verizon network is *72. To deactivate it, it is *73. Whether you are in Australia, the United Kingdom or Canada, always find out these numbers for your specific network!

Make your friends and family aware of this scam by sharing it, using the buttons provided.

There are 28 comments

  • On Thursday, September 24, 2015, Rachael wrote:

    Here's one better, I received a call from my husband's cell phone number and when I answered it was actually a recording from a prison asking if I would accept a call from an inmate, don't remember the name, but it freaked me out and I just hung up without saying anything. I texted my husband to ask if he had just tried to call me and he replied yes. I called him and he was completely baffled as well.

  • On Monday, July 06, 2015, Laura wrote:

    I got a call from 314-669-2753; I didn't answer and the voicemail told me to press 9, nothing else. I'm glad I checked the number first before calling back. I don't take calls from numbers that my caller id doesn't recognize.

  • On Wednesday, June 03, 2015, Limesmile2 wrote:

    I received my first call about a week ago. I accepted the first one, as it said it was free and I was concerned it was family. Told the dude right away he had the wrong number, apologized and hung up. I have had two more missed calls since then. I tried calling the number back in order to connect to maybe a rep and ask them to have that person stop calling, BUT there was no option for connecting with one. I will have fun ignoring these calls for however long someone wants to play this game. I'm going to call him my "prison buddy."

  • On Monday, May 04, 2015, v wrote:


  • On Friday, May 01, 2015, andrea wrote:

    Someone please call me. I am being ripped off. Fiancé in jail. Time and money disappearing. Help 7275576313 andrea

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