(51 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.

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 ok. 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.

Watch the video below to see in action the Collection Call Scam as exposed in the news.

Collection Call Scam in the News

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 19 comments

  • On Thursday, November 13, 2014, James Brown wrote:

    You just need to accept the call... And then say "No thanks". Any respectable inmate will not call back

  • On Tuesday, October 07, 2014, Joe Buster wrote:

    Don't trust called ID! Caller ID is easy to spoof these days.

  • On Friday, October 03, 2014, Marlena wrote:

    How do they get the phone numbers to call ...curious ..I recived a call today from a Texas Prison (713)568-6973.....S.O.Bit#@$'s

  • On Friday, September 12, 2014, Brenda wrote:

    First on Sept 10 received call from 855-876-5380 3:16p from RUDE east Indian man wanting a JOSH, and insisted on verifying my number, even after I said THREE TIMES he reached wrong number. Then NEXT DAY SEPT 11 Received a call which tracks back to this PRISON SCAM CALLER ID WAS 1-800-483-8314
    Wilkinson county correctional facility
    2999 US Highway 61 N, Woodville, MS 39669
    (601) 888-3199 caller id was 1-800-483-8314 ar 848pm on sept 11

    713-568-6986 736pm from "josh" from a correctional facility also

  • On Monday, August 25, 2014, Haley wrote:

    I live in canada but kept getting a call from a u.s prison. It happened several times a week for a year. I never pressed 1 to accept because i knew it was a scam since i live so far away but i was always curious what would happen if i answered

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