Personal and Small Business Technology

Inmate Phone Scams

We recently received several email messages with phone messages from (931) 223-0532 on our VOIP “land line” phone number. The messages were an automated recording to accept collect charges from an inmate at an unidentified prison. The phone never rang, so either NoMoRoBo blocked the call before it rang our home line or it was spoofed into the VOIP voicemail system. The calls were from the same number at approximately the same time a few days apart. When I called the jail nearest the area code and exchange of the phone number listed, the deputy pointed me to Inmate Sales at 1-877-998-5678, a firm that provides phone services for inmates in jails.

The customer service rep at Inmate Sales could find no calls to our number, and offered to block it from all prisons that they served. The customer service rep made no effort to look up the phone number and call time to figure out who tried to do the jail house call scam on us. After the number block, we got another set of similar messages, all from different phone numbers, so it either takes a while to propagate the changes or they do not have control over their network.

Inmate Call Forwarding Scam

When I Googled “prison phone scam,” I found several articles that discussed inmate phone scams where inmates and outside accomplices try to talk you into forwarding the phone call; you then get all of the expensive collect charges from subsequent calls that the inmate makes. How to Avoid Becoming a Victim of Jailhouse Jingles Phone Scam is the best summary of the scams that I found.

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