BY MARCY SHORTUSE - On Monday, Aug. 20, Boca Grande Community Center employees walked into a mess. The phones were ringing ... and ringing ... and ringing ... but no one was there. At first they thought it was due to storms that had occurred over the weekend, but they soon found out they were victims of a scam.
Toll fraud is the official term. It is the unauthorized use of long-distance phone services, and businesses with multiple phone lines are the usual victims. Scammers hack into the telephone system and can quickly rack up thousands of dollars in long-distance charges.
At the Community Center, the total bill was $118,650. Each call was billed at the highest rate, and in this case they ran about $800 to $900 for each one.Senior Lee County Supervisor Bob Green said every time that phone rang, it was making another high-priced phone call on their bill.
“The tech that came out in person said someone remotely accessed their system, using them to make long-distance phone calls,” he said. “It’s a common fraud scam, Charlotte and Collier Counties had it happen recently as well.”
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