Phone Scam

Frank Skip Pratt
Mon, 09 Feb 1998 12:19:44 -0500


A friend of mine working at the Air Force Academy sent this information
on telephone scams which may be of use to some of us working with phone
systems and PBX's.


Skip - n2foe


Date            : Thursday, February 5, 1998 at 2:49:08 pm MST

Network Security has received numerous questions concerning
an e-mail circulating the Internet about a telephone scam.
The e-mail reads as follows:

        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 pushing 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 
        call.  We were further informed that this scam has been 
        originating from many of the local jails/prisons.  
        Please "pass the word".

Network Security has spoken with both AT&T and the US West
Call Annoyance Bureau, and both companies have confirmed that
this is indeed possible.  According to Corie Moran at US West's
Call Annoyance Bureau, "This is a way for people to hack into
the system.  It leaves the line open," allowing them to place
domestic and international long-distance calls at YOUR expense.

Moran added that, although to her knowledge no long-distance
company would ever ask you to dial an access code like 90# to
verify a service call, the access codes nevertheless do exist
and con artists will ask you dial access codes, so you should
be aware.  Moran also indicated that access codes may vary
by local telephone company, so you should always call the 
Business Office of your local telephone company and check if 
you get a call that sounds "fishy."