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Campus Watch Archives

April 15, 2003

TELEPHONE FRAUD ALERT

This scam was recently profiled on Campus Watch. The following is a further clarification of this scam. The scam enables offender to place long distance telephone calls that are billed to a PBX system.

This scam has been around for years and is directed at businesses, hospitals, government agencies and other organizations that use telephone switching equipment called private branch exchanges (PBXs) to handle their calls. This scam doesn't affect residential customers; its target is businesses.

In this latest version, the caller claims to be an AT&T service technician "repairing" the phone lines and convinces the unsuspecting recipient of the call to help out by transferring him to an outside line by getting the recipient to punch certain buttons and then has recipient hang up. The perpetrator then starts dialing long distance telephone numbers that are charged to the owner of the PBX.

Below are some points about this scam worth remembering:

  • An AT&T service technician would never call customers and ask them to help check phone lines.
  • The best prevention against this type of fraud is for business managers to make their office staffs aware of it and to review what to do if it happens.
  • If someone receives such a call, he or she should ask the "technician" for a call-back number or for the name and number of the caller's supervisor. Then hang up.
  • This or any other telephone scam should be reported to your local law enforcement agency.

Development Office Building, 2901 North IH-35

Occurred between 4-13-03 at 2:00 p.m. and 4-14-03 at 9:00 a.m.

Criminal Mischief: An unknown object struck a 4-foot by 4-foot exterior window located on the east side of the 1st floor. The object created a 5-inch to 6-inch hole in the window. Replacement cost: $150.00.

Peter T. Flawn Academic Center, #2 West Mall

Occurred on 4-14-03 between 12 noon and 5:25 p.m.

Theft: A black tri-fold leather wallet containing $20.00 cash and a credit card was stolen when it was left on a table in an unsecured 2nd floor room by the public access computers. Loss value: $25.00.