Learn About the Different Types of Phone Scams

It’s bad enough when you open your phone bill and notice all of these extra, unnecessary surcharges and fees. Although it feels like you’ve been scammed, those fees are completely legitimate. However, there are a number of phone scams out there that you should be aware of.

The first scam is the call-forwarding scam. This scam is often done by some prisoners in low security prisons who have easy access to pay phones. The prisoner calls someone they know to help them with this scam, then that person calls your phone number, both the prisoner and their accomplice work together to scam you. The unsuspecting customer is called at random to activate their call-forwarding service so the scammers can make long distance calls at the customer’s expense.

The scammers will say they are with the phone company and need to test the line or give some other excuse. What happens is that the scammer gets the customer to first dial *72 or 72# and another number, which is usually the prison pay phone number. When you hang up they stay on the line and continue making their calls and charge your line with the collect charges. Never dial call forwarding for strangers, the phone companies will never ask you to do this.

The next scam is called fat-finger dialing. Scam companies deliberately buy phone numbers that differ from just one number from those provided by legitimate companies. It’s called fat finger because these scam companies take advantage of misdialed numbers by customers, so instead of dialing a free legitimate 800 number, you accidentally dial an 800 number that has high charges attached to it. The best way to avoid this scam is to pay attention to the number you are dialing and never accept collect calls, unless it’s from someone you know.

The last scam is called slamming. Slamming happens when your long distance provider switches your service without your knowledge. It can happen by cashing a check or signing up for a service but because you don’t read the fine print your long distance service will be changed. The result is that you end up paying more for long distance services. Remember, if you make any changes on your phone service a third-party verification service will likely come on to verify that you authorize these changes. If you notice charges on your bill, contact your phone company and deny the charges chances are you won’t have to pay for the slamming charges.

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