HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - Wednesday, we reported about a phone scam that can frighten parents and grandparents. The Better Business Bureau has more to say about this attempt to fleece you of your money by tugging at your heartstrings before they tug your purse strings.
Here's a review of how the scam works: The phone rings – on the other end, a recorded call that says you have a collect call from an inmate. That inmate turns out to be your child, but in the case of this scam, it really isn't a loved one, but rather a scammer trying to prey on your fears.
In some cases, they are even discovering ways to lift recordings of your child's voice.
"(A victim) got a call from an automated system claiming to be from a prison, but what especially concerned her when it got to the part where they named the prisoner, it was her daughter saying her name," said the BBB's Michele Mason. "She said it sounded just like her daughter."
Luckily, the woman was able to verify that her daughter wasn't in prison, but was really disturbed that someone was able to tap into her phone and use a recording of her daughter's voice.
On caller ID, the number from the jail may be legitimate, but remember: in some cases, a scammer can "spoof" a real number, masking their phone number with that of another facility.
Also remember that the whole idea behind these types of scams is to get you in a panic and get you to react without thinking or doing your homework.
If you receive a call like this, make sure it is legitimate. Keep in mind – just because a number may actually belong to a prison does not necessarily mean that's where the call is coming from.