Chief Neal Lartigue is warning citizens of a phone scamming where someone calls collect and says that a family member of yours may be injured or dying and asks you to accept the charges. Sometimes these calls are coming from institutional places such as prisons and penitentiaries. Once a collect call is accepted the caller then uses a three way system to obtain your phone information and then places calls that are billed to your account. When you receive your next phone bill you could see charges in the hundreds of dollars. “Never accept collect calls from someone you don’t know” Chief Lartigue said, “Institutions such as prisons will not call you collect if you have a family member incarcerated.”
According to a spokesperson at the Louisiana State Penitentiary the nurse or doctor would call only the person listed as a medical contact of an inmate and would never call that person collect. If you are not listed as the medical contact then you would not receive a call.
Chief Lartigue warns that the call may not be from a prison or penitentiary. The call could be collect from someone saying that someone is hurt and needs your help. Be warned that these people are trying to scare your or worry you into accepting the charges because you are worried about a loved one. If someone were injured and needed help a police department or hospital would contact a family member. None of these agencies will call anyone collect.
“No agency, prison, penitentiary, police department, hospital or official department of any kind will call anyone collect.” Chief Lartigue stated, “Hang up and check on your family member by calling directly.