|Fraud Alert: Call-Forwarding Scam
You may receive an automated message on your telephone that says you have won a prize or money. The message directs you to dial a 2-digit code preceded or followed by the * or # key (such as *79 or 72#), and then an 800 number to claim your prize. When you dial the number, you are not connected to anyone. What this procedure has done is program your telephone to forward your calls to a long distance operator. Con artists can then call your number, be forwarded to the long-distance operator and place calls that are billed to your home telephone number.
What You Can Do: If you receive this type of call, simply hang up. If you receive this message on your answering machine, do not place this call. No legitimate sweepstakes or contest would likely contact you in this manner. · Know the numbers used for Call Forwarding from your local telephone company. You may be able to disable call forwarding or password-protect your telephone number in order to prevent an identity thief from using this feature.