*72 Phone Scam – CONSUMER ADVISORY
Consumers should be aware of a phone scam that can leave you with high phone bills. It starts when scammers call you pretending to be with the police or sheriff’s department, public safety agencies, or hospitals. They may make up a story about your child or other loved one being hurt in an accident. They then tell you to call the officer at the scene of the accident by dialing *72 and a phone number they provide you.
DO NOT DO THIS!
By dialing *72 at the beginning of a call, you will activate call forwarding, if you subscribe to it, and all calls to your phone number will be forwarded to the phone number that the scammers gave you. When that happens, you may be billed a charge each time a call is forwarded to the other number. You may also be billed long distance charges, including collect call charges if applicable. Calls will continue to forward until you turn off the call forwarding feature. In some cases *73 turns off call forwarding, but that may vary depending on which phone company and the type of call forwarding service you subscribe to.
By getting you to activate your call forwarding feature and providing you with a number (it could be to an expensive pay-per-call service, the East Coast, etc.), the scammers can then call that number by dialing your phone number and you will be billed the additional charges. Don’t let this happen to you!
You may have call forwarding as a feature of your landline or wireless service. If you are unsure if you have it, ask your phone company. Also not all call forwarding is activated by *72. If you have call forwarding, find out how to use it, as well as all your other services.
If this does happen to you, call your phone company to dispute the charges and report it to the California Public Utilities Commission’s consumer hotline at 800-649-7570.
California Public Utilities Commission Consumer Hotline
Partner to prevent or report crime by contacting your local Sheriff’s station. Or if you wish to remain Anonymous, call “LA Crime Stoppers” by dialing 800-222-TIPS (8477), texting the letters TIPLA plus your tip to CRIMES (274637), or using the website http://lacrimestoppers.org.To receive more detailed, up-to-date information directly from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) via e-mail, register for “Nixle” alerts at www.Nixle.com or more directly at https://local.nixle.com/register/ and register for “LASD – Headquarters Newsroom (SHB), Los Angeles County Sheriff” and your local LASD station area. Or, text your zip code to 888777 to receive text alerts only. Standard text messaging rates may apply depending on your calling plan. For full details, go to https://local.nixle.com/alert/4659930/?sub_id=169396. Contact Information:
Robert Boese III
Sheriff’s Headquarters Bureau