SCAM ALERT: Scammers Targeting Prisoners and Their Loved Ones with Fake Calling Plans
By Federal Trade Commission // October 18, 2020
Inmate Call made off with more than $1 million between 2016 and 2020
(FTC) – When people who are in jail or prison want to call family and friends, they can only use official service providers for either collect or pre-paid calls.
The per-minute charges for these calls can be costly. And that’s how scammers have found a way to take people’s money.
The FTC’s complaint against Inmate Call and its affiliates says they took advantage of inmates and their loved ones by falsely claiming to offer calling plans for “unlimited“ minutes for a set price.
According to the FTC, these companies also posed as official service providers. Inmate Call allegedly put ads on its websites that used logos of actual official service providers to lure people into buying these fake unlimited plans.
The FTC’s complaint claims people who bought these plans wound up getting not even one minute of call time, let alone unlimited minutes.
After people paid, says the FTC, Inmate Call just redirected them to the official service providers for correctional facilities — where they ended up paying yet more money.
Inmate Call allegedly targeted people from lower-income communities, and many people lost hard-earned money to this scheme.
The FTC says Inmate Call made off with more than $1 million between 2016 and 2020.
If you or someone you know is in a correctional facility, remember that official service providers do not offer unlimited plans.
This type of unlimited plan does not currently exist for jails or prisons, so if anyone tries to sell you one, it’s a scam.
Before you pay, make sure you’re dealing with the official service provider for your loved one’s correctional facility. And be sure to tell the FTC about this and –other scams that you spot.