The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Urban Legend?

I just received this email. Does anyone know if this is true? Please advise...


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 is true, and also applies to cell


I received a telephone call last evening from an individual identi fying
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 E

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

The Alferos Group =


Geoff said...

I think it applies to US phones only, and I think it only applies to phones where you have to dial "9" to get an outside line, and where, once you get that line, there are no further dialing restrictions, ie, you can dial who or where you want. So, not likely to apply to most people, and probably not most businesses these days.

Anonymous said...

Geoff is right. This only applies to phones (most likely business phones) that require "9" for an outside line.


Mike Ralls said...

Snopes is the place to check this type of stuff out. Anytime I get a forwarded e-mail a quick search on almost always tells me if it's an urban legend or not.

Scott Carpenter said...

But what if Snopes itself is up to nefarious doings?


Josh Jasper said...

Back when I was calling long distance to a university dial up account, I used to call the 800 line for the university, then ask for the modem line's extension. It's a version of the same hack. No use on a cell phone.

Brian Dunbar said...

Thanks for the snopes link, Mike, it confirmed my memory.

This was - briefly - a problem when I worked for Compaq. We had two new administrators answering the main number for our plant and they were transferring all _kinds_ of calls this way.

This went on for a few days before one of the Inside Sales people came by the IT shop and asked us if we were testing the PBX; the admins were complaining that 'IT' was always testing out the phone lines and they were hoping we'd get it fixed real soon ...

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