Lily Krakowski on sun 6 oct 02
My sister sent me this:
A FRIEND OF MINE FORWARDED THIS TO ME.
PLEASE PASS ON TO EVERYONE YOU KNOW
I received a telephone call last evening from an individual identifying
himself as an AT&T Service technician who was conducting a test on
lines. He stated that to complete the test I should touch nine(9),
the pound sign (#), and then hang up. Luckily, I was suspicious and
Upon contacting the telephone company, I was informed that by pushing
you give the requesting individual full access to your telephone line,
enables them to place long distance calls billed to your home phone
I was further informed that this scam has been originating from many
jails/prisons. I have also verified this information with UCB Telecom,
Pacific Bell, MCI, Bell Atlantic and GTE. Please beware. DO NOT press 90#
for ANYONE. The GTE Security Department requested that I share this
information with EVERYONE I KNOW. PLEASE pass this on to everyone YOU
If you have mailing lists and/or newsletters from organizations you are
connected with, I encourage you to pass on this information to them, too.
After checking with Verizon they said it was true, so do not dial (9),
zero(0), the pound sign # and hang up for anyone.
P.O. Box #1
(315) 942-5916/ 397-2389
Be of good courage....
Bruce Girrell on sun 6 oct 02
People, people, people
Whenever you see words like this (and ALL CAPS is a hint, too):
> A FRIEND OF MINE FORWARDED THIS TO ME.
And _especially_ words like this:
> PLEASE PASS ON TO EVERYONE YOU KNOW
Please, the _first_ thing to do is to check an urban legend site such as
www.urbanlegends.com or www.snopes.com and search for the story. For
example, I went to www.snopes.com and entered "telephone scam" into the
search box. The first hit was this same story. The wording is only slightly
At least the one referred to in this post had a small string of truth in it.
Under certain cicrcumstances at a business telephone system or other system
where 9 is used to obtain an outside line and there are no restrictions
placed on outgoing long distance calls it is possible for the scam to work.
But unless you have to dial 9 to get an outside line at your house, it is
not an issue. The snopes page, by the way, listed a number of other scams
that actually have been used.
For real fun check in with the newsgroup alt.folklore.urban. You will need a
much thicker skin than is required here on clayart but you will learn to
almost instantly recognize false warnings. Sites similar to the urban
legends pages also exist for the dire computer virus warnings that get
passed about frequently also. Check the Clayart archives for references to
the computer virus hoax sites.
Please do not pass on a warning until you are fairly sure that it is real.
"Better safe than sorry" is not an appropriate attitude; it is crying "Wolf"
and it will make it more difficult for legitimate warnings to be heard.
Bruce "pass this on to everyone you know" Girrell