Scouts-L Mail Archive for November of 1998: Re: 90# SCAM
Re: 90# SCAM
The Hendra Family
Tue, 3 Nov 1998 10:25:01 -0800
Subject: Nine-Zero-Pound Warning
Thank you for forwarding me the "nine-zero-pound" warning.
Unfortunately, the warning you sent me is exaggerated. I have
attached an excerpt from an article on the warning I recently
saw on the Internet TOURBUS.
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THE NINETY POUND TELEPHONE SCAM
According to our next urban legend
On Saturday, 24 January 1998, Naval Air Station, Joint Reserve
Base, New Orleans' Quarterdeck received a telephone call from an
individual identifying himself as an AT&T Service Technician that
was running a test on our telephone lines. He stated that to
complete the test the QMOW should touch nine (9), zero (0), pound
sign (#) and hang up. Luckily, the QMOW was suspicious and
refused. Upon contacting the telephone company we were informed
that by using 90# you end up giving the individual that called
you access to your telephone line and allows them to place a long
distance telephone call, with the charge appearing on your
telephone [bill]. We were further informed that this scam has
been originating from many of the local jails/prisons. Please
'pass the word.'"
Well, you fearless bus driver spent most of Tuesday on the phone with
folks from both Force 3 (the company that originally reported this
story) and AT&T (the long distance telephone company whose logo looks
an awful lot like Darth Vader's Death Star). As shocking as this may
sound, the "nine-zero-pound" story is true ... sort of.
What the warning letter floating around the Net doesn't say is that
this scam only works on telephones where you have to dial 9 to get an
outside line. Unless you have to dial 9 to get an outside line at
home, this scam does not affect residential telephone users. Dialing
"nine-zero-pound" on a residential phone will only give you a busy
signal. That's it.
On some business phones, however, dialing "nine-zero-pound" may
transfer a call to an outside operator and give the caller the
opportunity to call anywhere in the world and charge it to your
business' phone bill ... maybe. It all depends on how your business'
telephone system is set up. If your company doesn't require you to
dial 9 to get an outside line (for example, if you have a direct
outside telephone line on your desk or if your company's phone system
requires you to dial a number other than 9 to get an outside line) the
"nine-zero-pound" scam does not affect you. Also, if your company's
phone system is set up so that you cannot make a long distance call
once you have accessed an outside line (a lot of companies now limit
all outside lines to local calls only), the "nine-zero-pound" scam
does not affect you either.
The "nine-zero-pound" story only affects those businesses that require
you to dial 9 to get an outside line and then place no restrictions on
who or where you can call once you get that outside line. And, just
to be anal-retentive, let me say one more time that, unless you have
to dial 9 to get an outside line at home, this scam does _not_ affect
residential telephone users. [It also probably doesn't affect non-US
telephone users. This is especially true for British telephone users
whose telephone system is so complex that NO ONE in the UK knows how
to use BT's phones (although I am sure that BT users are currently
dealing with some sort of "dial q-seven-pi-cromwell-eleventeen-tomato"
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