Scammer will ask victim to hit 90#
SIKESTON -- Area residents are being warned about a phone scam that could give full access of their phone lines to the scammer.
According to Sikeston Department of Public Safety Director Drew Juden, the scam is committed when the victim receives a phone call from a person who claims to be an AT & T service technician conducting a test on telephone lines in the area. The scammer will ask the victim to press the 9 then the 0 and then the pound key and hang up. According to Southwestern Bell this gives the scammer, who made the call to the victim, full access to the victim's telephone line.
The scammer can then call long distance numbers which will be charged to the phone of the victim, who is stuck with the bill. According to a number of telephone companies, many of these scam calls are originating from jails and prisons by inmates who are trying to get free calls.
The scam is typically run on businesses with PBX systems or those that can transfer customers to other telephone numbers. Hospitals, police/government, insurance companies, telemarketing and hotels are a few examples. This fraud most frequently occurs when a criminal successfully convinces the business PBX operator, or any employee, to transfer him to the non-existent extension or requests assistance to check the phone line, which in reality, gives the scammer access to an outside line and unlimited long distance.
This information is being passed on so the public is aware of the scam and does not fall prey to the scammers. Juden stated that unless you are trying to give a specific person this access, do not press 90# for anyone, especially at an individual's request.