The warning comes after a central Ohio woman reportedly received a call from someone impersonating a law enforcement officer asking her to call a number beginning with *72.
Star-72 is a custom call-forwarding feature. When a customer dials *72, followed by a telephone number, it activates the call-forwarding feature causing all their incoming calls to ring to the number dialed after *72.
The scammer then is able to accept all collect or third-party calls on the customer's number while telling legitimate callers they have the wrong number. The customer will get charged for all calls the scammer accepts on the forwarded number.
The U.S. Department of Justice notes this scheme only will work if the customer previously has signed up for the call-forwarding option with his or her service provider.
Star-72 is the most commonly used sequence for call-forwarding; however, some phone service providers may use a different sequence.
The OSHP is asking anyone who receives a phone call requesting them to input a strange code into their phone to hang up and report the call to his or her local law enforcement agency.
FRANK LEWIS can be reached at (740) 353-3101, ext. 232.