9-0-#, 9-0-0 Phone Scam

Published: March 10th, 2000

Category: Memos

David S. O’Brien, Director

This is to inform you that the Telecommunications Department has been made aware of a phone scam in process on the University campus.

This type of fraud involves a perpetrator who calls an office and cons an unsuspecting worker into transferring him or her to an outside line. The perpetrator then starts dialing calls that are charged to the owner’s line. In the recent case on campus, the caller claimed to be a telephone repairman and tries to convince the recipient of the call to help out by transferring him to an outside line and then hanging up. The 9-0-# transfers to an outside line and the 9-0-0 transfers to an international operator.

Below are some points about this scam worth remembering:

  • A PPD Telecommunications, BellSouth, AT&T etc. service technician would never call customers and ask them to help check phone lines by transferring a call.
  • 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.
  • Another scenario is that a caller asks to speak to someone who is not there. Then the caller asks the recipient to be connected to an outside line as a “favor”. This is also called social engineering fraud. Inform the caller that you can not transfer the call and hang up immediately.
  • The person responsible for paying your phone bills should check them carefully.

To report this or any other type of phone scams, please call the PPD Telecommunications Department at 392-1146.

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