Thursday, April 15, 2010

Phone Line Scam

I was bored waiting in an airport so I researched some of the spam messages that certain family members feel compelled to forward. This particular message was about a phishing attack:
Date: Monday, March 15, 2010, 9:50 PM

90# on your telephone

I dialed '0', to check this out, asked the operator, who confirmed that this was correct so please pass it on ...
(l also checked out This is true, and also applies to cell phones!)

I received a telephone call last evening from an individual identifying himself as an AT&T Service Technician (could also be Telus) who was conducting a test on the telephone lines. He stated that to complete the test I should touch nine(9), zero(0), the pound sign (#), and then hang up. Luckily, I was suspicious and refused.

Upon contacting the telephone company, I was informed that by pushing 90#, you give the requesting individual full access to your telephone line, which enables them to place long distance calls billed to your home phone number.

I was further informed that this scam has been originating from many local jails/prisons DO NOT press 90# for ANYONE.

The GTE Security Department requested that I share this information with EVERYONE I KNOW.

After checking with Verizon they also said it was true, so do not dial 90# for anyone !!!!!

PLEASE HIT THAT FORWARD BUTTON AND PASS THIS ON TO EVERYONE YOU KNOW!!! We need to protect one another from these scams. Don't expect the phone companies to alert you to this danger.
A quick search shows there isn't anything to worry about unless your on old equipment that is poorly configured. For additional information see: However, this hoax is based on an interesting exploit. A PABX can be configured to allow call forwarding to connect two outside lines. The actual sequence would be R90#. The R or recall is to notify the PBX that you want to do something such as dial out. The 9 indicates you want to dial an outside line and 0 is the number for the operator. Finally # connects the original call to the new number dialed.

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