Beware of Prisoner Phone Scam

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February 29, 2008 LITTLE ROCK Most of us dread the thought of getting a phone call from the police or hospital telling us that a loved one is ill or has been seriously injured. Unfortunately, scam artists prey on such emotions to defraud consumers; thus, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel issued this consumer alert to warn Arkansans of a recurring phone scam, which appears to have been orchestrated by prison inmates. While there is no evidence that this scheme has spread to the Arkansas prison system and no Arkansas consumers have reported being taken by the scheme, McDaniel nonetheless issued this warning, as such scams can spread rapidly and are often adopted in copycat fashion. In the prison phone scam, prisoners make collect calls at random. Once the inmate connects with a person on the other end of the line, he lies to the unsuspecting individual and states that there has been an accident and that this was the listed emergency contact number for the unidentified victim." The inmate then instructs the person to call his supervisor at *72 and the number to the jail. Once the person calls the number