PORT ARTHUR — Port Arthur Police were inundated with phone calls on Thursday but not from concerned citizens.
The calls were part of an inmate phone scam coming from the Harris County Jail, Port Arthur Police Lt. Troy Lebouef said.
The call begins with a recording informing the person of a collect call from an inmate at the Harris County jail. The call, if allowed, lets the inmate use the line to make long distance calls from an outside source and costs about $3 per call, he said.
Lebouef wants the public to be aware of the issue and to make sure and terminate the call.
A similar scam happened in Groves in February where citizens were targeted and in May citizens in Matagorda Bay reportedly dealt with the same issue.
The inmate phone scam has been around for quite some time. The El Campo Leader News in west Texas alerted residents in October 2008 of the fraudulent calls from Harris County.
Then, in November 2008, residents of Sweeny in Brazoria County saw their share of the phone forwarding scam.
If you receive one of these calls you are asked to report the issue to the Harris County Inmate Scam Line at 713-961-0147.