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Thread: *72 Scam

  1. #1

    Default *72 Scam

    It's not entirely new, the *72 Scam, but someone just tried to get me on it.
    I got a phone call from my 'Phone' Company. When I asked if they spoke English, they gave me a number where someone would speak English to me.
    *72- 0523049931 (it's an Israeli Cell Phone Number) And they told me to do it NOW!
    So, something clicks in my head and I go to search on the Internet. While my browser is loading, I get another call, same guy telling me to call NOW!!! I tell him that I can't do it now.
    So I get the search done and here's what I found:

    I got a collect call today from the Harris County Jail. Oddly enough, when the automated system for Southwesten Bell said "Will you accept the collect call from..." there was no name included. I went ahead and accepted the call because I didn't know if someone I knew may be in trouble or not.

    Once I accepted the call, a guy comes on asking for "Gary." I told him he had the wrong number and he franticly asked me not to hang up. He said his name was "Steve Sanders" and he had just been in an accident and his daughter was seriously hurt. He said that the police arrested him at the accident scene because of outstanding traffic tickets. He begged me to just call his wife and let her know what happened and to let her know which hospital their daughter was in.

    I said sure and grabbed a pen. He said his wife's name was "Crystal Sanders" and she worked at Big City Bail Bond. He asked if I'd written that down and then said to dial her extension first, followed by her phone number so the call would be routed to her office.

    He said to call *72 713-635-XXXX (last digits left out on purpose)

    This is when my "scam alert" went off in my head. So I told him I'd call his wife, but I would not dial *72 first. He got upset and said "what do you mean you won't dial *72". As soon as he got upset I knew it was some sort of scam and I hung up.

    After I hung up, I did a quick search on the term "*72 scam" and sure enough, Snopes has info on it:

    If I had dialed *72 and then the number, all of my phone calls would have been forwarded to that number. Then, whenever anyone called for me, the person answering at the forwarded number would say it was the wrong number. But, they could accept every collect call and could charge long distance and international calls to my number because all calls would forward to their number where they would accept the charges.

    Be sure and read the snopes article to learn about this scam.

    A couple of things in life that I've found helps ward off scammers is asking lots of questions and/or agreeing to help, but not in the way a possible scammer specifies. For example, I told the guy I'd call his wife, but not the way he wanted and he got upset. That was my tip off.

    So any way, I have the number that the guy gave me, the telephone company said that they couldn't use it, but the Police would be happy to have it.
    So tomorrow I'm going to the Police station and give it to them.


  2. #2


    I have heard about that one before and When I had, I told Robbin not to call it if she got a call like that. It is great that you are letting everyone know about it. Good call, on pun intended.LOL

  3. #3


    I'm surprised there's still phone scammers out there in this day and age, since long distance calling is relatively inexpensive.

  4. #4

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  5. #5


    In case you didnt know.....*73 is what turns off call forwarding

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