Scammers are using tricky tactics to gain access to phones in Eastern Kentucky. Investigators say they're running up long distance charges from behind bars.
These scammers are calling people, claiming their loved ones have been involved in a deadly accident. Once you do what they say - in no time their charging up long distance calls on your phone.
Thelma Carter picked up the phone early Saturday morning to a call no one wants to get. A man claiming to be an emergency responder told her two family members were dead.
"I guess it's how they get your attention is you're not paying attention," said Thelma Carter.
Carter says then she was told to dial a phone number beginning with *72 to reach someone on the scene that could give her more information.
The scammer told her he would call back in five minutes to make sure everything was okay.
"That's how they access your phone is from them dialing your number back," added Carter.
*72 is a feature that forwards calls from your phone to the number you dial after it, making your long distance service available for the taking.
AT&T told Carter it's a scam that's been circulating for awhile and is now showing up in this area.
The phone company says her scammer was in a Chicago prison and her number was used to make calls from as far away as the bahamas.
She won't have to pay for those calls, but may have to foot the bill for the first collect call she accepted.
"Because she said it would be astronomical!" said Carter.