Inmates of the Cook County jail operated a telephone scam in the area over the holiday, according to Fulton County Sheriff Walter Dillinger.
The Fulton County Sheriff's office received several calls from area residents who had received phone calls from individuals claiming to be police officers or other government authority with news of an emergency. These calls originated from inmates in a Cook County, Ill., jail, Dillinger said.
According to Dillinger, the scammers told the victims to dial *72, followed by another telephone number provided by the scammer.
The unsuspecting victims did not realize *72 activates the call-forwarding feature on their telephone line.
The inmates then called the victims a second time and were forwarded to the phone of a fellow scammer who accepted the collect call.
The result is that another person at the forwarded number can accept high cost collect calls from the inmate at the victim's expense.
The cost of the talk time being charged to the victims account can be over $1 a minute.
According to the Kenilworth Police Department in Kenilworth, Ill., when a true emergency occurs, specific information as to who was involved in the emergency, what police or government department the caller is with and the location where the emergency occurred is always given.