The call forwarding scam is making its way around the state. Officials are saying that con artists are making collect calls to consumers and asking them to forward their call, by dialing star 72, after they try to convince the victim that they dialed the wrong number and they can only make one phone call. "This is apparently something that is fairly common in prisons around the country. The inmate will ask you to dial *72 and a number, then they are making free collect calls on your dime," said Jody Thomas, Vice President. "You won't find out until you get your phone bill," she continued.
The *72 feature causes all your incoming calls to be forwarded. The scammer can make collect calls to your number and have them automatically forwarded to the person he wants to reach, and even though you aren't answering the calls, the charges will still be billed to your account.
To protect yourself from call forwarding scams, Better Business Bureau/Greater Maryland offers the following tips:
* Place a collect call block on your account. If you don't need to make or accept collect calls, telephone service providers often allow you to block them for free.
* If you receive unwanted calls from a nearby correctional facility, contact them directly and request that your number be blocked.
* Read your telephone bills carefully. Watch for any unusual charges.
* Pay attention to your phone's ringing. If your phone frequently rings only once or is not ringing at all, this could be an indication that your line has been forwarded.
* If you believe your phone is being forwarded, dial *73 or #73 to deactivate the feature.