Sweeny Police | News | 2008 | Phone Scam

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Fraudulent Inmate Phone Calls / Scams



If you receive a telephone call originating from the Harris County Jail, from an unknown caller, who requests you call a number for him/her preceded by *72, please hang-up immediately!  This is a common call forwarding scam.


The caller may seem genuine, and may even say something to the effect of, “Please help, I’ve been arrested for traffic tickets. I was supposed to pick up my children from school, this was my only phone call and I dialed the wrong number. Please dial *72 xxx-xxx-xxxx for me so I can check on my children.”  Or, the caller may claim to be a deputy sheriff or police officer, and may say something to the effect of, This is Officer So-And-So.  A member of your family has been arrested (or been involved in a traffic accident) in Houston. He/she gave us your telephone number and asked that you contact him/her at the following number *72 xxx-xxx-xxxx.  


Unfortunately, if you follow the caller's instructions, your phone will be “call forwarded” to the number provided by the inmate. All future calls to your telephone number will bypass your phone and ring at the number you entered after dialing *72.  The inmate will now continue to dial your telephone number but your phone will not ring.  All inmate collect calls, accepted by the person at the other number, will be charged to you.

What You Should Do

  • Immediately dial 73# to cancel “Call Forwarding”
  • Contact your telephone service provider and report the fraud to them (Windstream = 800-501-1754)
  • If you desire, contact SBC at 1-800-984-8800 to have calls originating from the Harris County Jail blocked

To contact the Harris County Sheriff's Department, dial 713-221-6700; Harris County Jail, dial 713-755-5300; or visit them on the Web at http://www.hcso.hctx.net.


Source: Harris County Sheriff's Department



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