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LA County Jail Inmates Revive Old Phone Scam

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(Photo credit: ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

(Photo credit: ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — An inmate from the Los Angeles County jail system may want to use you to reach out and touch someone.

KNX 1070′s Bill Cooper reports an old phone scam is being reworked in the county jails.


The scheme involves inmates placing phone calls from inside prison and then convincing whoever picks up the phone to dial a number with a special call forwarding prefix.

That prefix will then forward all incoming calls made to the victim’s phone to the scammer’s phone including collect calls made by inmates who want to avoid the charges.

Deputy Robert Bacey says the scams helps circumvent the jail house phone system’s automatic greeting.

“When an inmate in the Los Angeles County system calls you, there is a pre-recorded message that says, ‘An inmate from the LA County Sheriff’s department is trying to contact you via a collect call, are you willing to accept those charges?’”, says Bacey.

Officials say anyone who has been a victim of the scheme should contact their service provider, or opt-out of the call forwarding by dialing another prefix.

(©2010 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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