Consumer Advisory & Sheriff's Bulletin:
It starts when scammers call pretending to be with the police or sheriff's department, public safety agency, or hospital. They may fabricate a story about your child or other loved one hurt in an accident. They then tell you to call the officer at the scene, and the phone number starts with *72.
Do not make that call.
By punching in *72, you will activate your phone's call-forwarding feature, and send all future calls to whichever subsequent phone number you've been told to enter.
Calls will continue to bypass your phone and forward to this other number until you turn off the call forwarding feature. In some cases *73 turns off call forwarding, but that may vary depending on which phone company and the type of call forwarding service you subscribe to.
If this does happen to you, call your phone company to dispute the charges and report it to the California Public Utilities Commission’s consumer hotline at 800-649-7570.