Collect call scam apparently hitting the Ark-La-Tex

MARSHALL, TX (KSLA) - Telephone customers need to be careful when accepting collect calls.

The Marshall Police Department says a possible scam hitting the area could mean extra charges on your phone bill. Police learned about the scam from a Marshall resident.

The victim told police she got a collect call from the Harris County Jail, located in the Houston area, and was asked to accept the charges. The victim accepted the charges, thinking someone she knew might be in trouble.

When the victim learned she did not know the person making the collect call from the jail, she asked that the collect call charge be removed. The male on the other end told the victim to press #72 on her phone then dial another number to have the charges cleared from her bill.

The victim then told police she got several phone calls over the next two days. When she called the telephone company to see if there was a problem, the victim learned by dialing 72#, she forwarded all her calls to another telephone number. The victim then learned she had approximately $115 in charges billed to her number.

Police say they do not know where the calls are coming from nor how they're choosing the telephone numbers to call. They say the best thing to do is refuse to accept the call or hang up the phone unless you have reason to believe someone you know may be in jail.