PLA Issue #28: Calling Cards

Written by RedBoxChiliPepper on March 28, 1995

I can't believe I haven't done a file on calling cards yet. I've been ordering calling cards since I was in diapers and there's not even a PLA file on it. What in the hell is wrong with me? I wrote a file on calling cards a few years ago but I lost it in a freak accident with the lawn mower, I think. Not much has changed since then, though.

It's really simple and I hardly think that the subject really deserves more that a paragraph, let alone a whole file my my pointless babblings should drag it out a little more. (See? Two meaningless paragraphs already...)

Selecting Your Target

Your target can be anyone. A total stranger used to be my favorite choice but
when I visited my parents recently I was thumbing through my old high school
yearbook and thinking, "Hmm, this guy was a real dickhead...This teacher hated
me...This girl turned me down for a date..." So since then most of the people
that I decided that weren't exactly the best of friends with me in high school
have gotten larger phone bills than they usually do. They don't have to pay
for the charges, but it sure is a headache for them.

I usually make their pin number something meaningful such as my first name so
I can call them up pretending to be phone company security, "Yes, sir, well, I
see here that your pin number on that fraudulent card spelled out the word
RBCP (my real name). Now on my records here I show that you had a disagreement
with a RBCP in high school and we suspect this may be an act of revenge on his
part..."

So no matter who your target is, write down all the information you have on
them. Mostly you will just need their name and phone number but it helps to
have their address and possibly their social security number in case the
phone company wants to verify it.

Ordering The Card

The card number is almost always the owner's area code, phone number and four
digit pin number. (xxx-xxx-xxxx-xxxx) To make things easier for the customer,
you can personalize the pin number. Used to, this was very easy and you didn't
even have to ask for it. The operator would just say, "And what would you like
your pin number to be?" But in the last few years the phone company finally
realized that what they were doing wasn't that bright so they've tightened
security a little bit.

Sometimes they'll want to call you back at your home and if you're not at home
then they'll want your social security number to make sure that you're really
who you say you are. Look up the residential billing office in the front of
your phone book. (Or if it's long distance, call information.) Here's how my
conversation with the billing operator usually goes:

OPER: May I help you?
RBCP: Yeah, I had called earlier today about ordering one of your calling
cards...I just wanted to go ahead and set that up if I could.
OPER: Could I have your home telephone number, area code first?
RBCP: Sure, it's 512-370-4680.
OPER: Your name?
RBCP: Geraldo.
OPER: How many cards will you be needing?
RBCP: Oh...just one is fine.
OPER: Okay, I've placed the order for you and your card will be there in about
two weeks.
RBCP: Okay, thanks! Hey, am I going to have the same pin number as I selected
when I called last time?
OPER: I don't show that you called before.
RBCP: Oh, yeah, I called asking questions about the card and the operator said
that I could make my pin number the same as the pin number on my ATM
card.
OPER: What pin number would you like?
RBCP: 7448.
OPER: Okay, it's taken card of. Thank you for using AT&Roy.

It's actually not really even that hard. But sometimes the operator will want
some additional information such as your social security number or she might
want to call you back. If I don't have their social security number I just
hang up and call right back saying that I got hung up on and continue the
order and the new operator will give me my pin number with no questions.

Another way to get card numbers would be to send the actual card to a post
office box. (See PLA024 for P.O.Boxes) First you'd call up the billing office
and ask for all of your future bills to be sent to a new address which is your
post office box. Then you'd call back and say you'd like to order a calling
card and don't bother asking for a personalized pin number. In less than two
weeks you'll receive the card in your box. It'd be a good idea to forward
their phone bills back to the original address unless you're not planning on
keeping that box for much longer.

Don't place the order from your home! They're the phone company, for god's
sake and they'll be able to check their little ANI machines a few months down
the road and see who called them for that order. (It happened to me once.)

Using The Card

Here are some handy-dandy guidelines on using your calling cards:

  • Don't call from your home! Don't call from your friends' homes! Don't call
    from work unless you plan to quit soon. If you call from a home number, you
    can easily be back billed for the charges. This happened to me in L.A. So
    unless you're good with diverting, don't do it from home.
  • Keep in mind that the owner of the calling card will have every number
    you've called on his bill as well as every number you've called from. So if
    this card is for revenge purposes, you might want to think about whether or
    not you want this guy having your friends' phone numbers or not.
  • Don't use Sprint. (103330+number) I've noticed that after chain dialing a
    bunch of numbers under Sprint on a calling card, the card will go dead soon
    after that. Instead use AT&T. (10288+number) You can dial a ka-zillion
    numbers through them and it'll never go dead.
  • Don't distribute the card to out of state friends and don't call overseas.
    The fastest two ways to make a card go dead is to use it from two or more
    different area codes a lot and/or do a lot of overseas calling. Instruct
    friends not to give the card to out of state people and not to call even
    one overseas number. If possible, put an overseas block on the card.
  • When you're done with a call, don't hang up! Instead, wait for the person
    on the other end to hang up, then press the # key. AT&T will say, "Please
    enter another number now..." Dial the area code and new number and it'll
    put you through again without having to re-enter your calling card again.

    Tricks

    By blocking your ANI and then calling AT&T, you can make your calls seem to
    come from anywhere in the United States. The person you've ordered the calling
    card for won't have to pay for the charges if it's obvious that it's fraud
    that he didn't have anything to do with. But what if you make all the the
    phone calls appear to have been made from his own home? Then what's he gonna
    tell the operator? "Well, even though all the calls are coming from my home,
    I know nothing about this card..."

    Dial zero. Ask the operator to dial a toll free number for you. Give her the
    number 1-800-225-5288 and she'll put it through. (That's 1-800-CALL-ATT) When
    you get the "AT&T" stuff, hit zero to get an operator. She'll ask you what
    number you're calling from. Give her the number to the calling card victim's
    home. She'll ask for the number you're calling to and for your calling card
    number and put your call through. After you're done with the call, your can
    hit the # key and dial other numbers just as if you'd dialed direct and it'll
    all show up as being made from the victim's home.

    In the past, I've made my calls seem to come from the White House, from local
    police stations, pay phones outside the victim's home, and from the victim's
    grandma's house and mom's house and friends' houses. I'm sure this confuses
    the hell out of him.

    Caught Again

    Of course, I got sloppy a few times and got caught. While living in Los Angeles
    and using a card from my friend's house, I charged about $40 worth of calls to
    a calling card number in Oregon. The phone company didn't even calls us about
    the charges, they just tacked 'em onto my friend's phone bill and I paid them.

    Another incident was when a stupid friend of mine in Highland, Illinois used a
    card I gave him every night from his home. When the phone company called his
    mom, she gave my name and phone number so the phone company called me. I
    admitted that it was me to keep my friend out of trouble and told the lady that
    the card number was written on a pay phone and I didn't know I was doing any-
    thing wrong. She said in first-time situations like this they don't prosecute
    (I stiffled a laugh) and they'll only charge me for the fraudulent calls made
    from my friend's house. A week later I got the bill, threw it in the trash and
    moved to Indianapolis to meet Jim Bayless.

    Only very few times has a phone company called a friend of mine that I called
    on the card and tried to find out about me. When they did, my friends would
    just play dumb. This happened once to Martini (618) when a sherrif from the
    small town of Roscoe, South Dakota (I ordered a calling card from there)
    deicded to investigate for his buddy, I guess. Martini said she didn't know
    anything and that was the end of it.

    That's It

    Now you know how to stock up on calling cards. Zak recently placed an order
    for a calling card through MCI and got a personalized pin with it and it
    worked forever. He even gave the guy's incorrect address and birthdate but it
    still worked. So, it's something I'm gonna try soon but don't really know
    enough to write about yet.

    Phearless

    I have to show you guys this...A few years ago, a guy I know decided to create
    his very own kewl elite hacking and phreaking group, although the only hacking
    he has ever done in his miserable life is extract the PKUNZIP.COM file to get
    into someone else's WWIV DOS.

    Phearless (a.k.a. Jason Phillips) of Wood River, IL decided to call his k-rad
    group P.H.U.C.K. This creative title is an acronym for Phreak/Hacking United
    Corporate Khaos. (Seems he ran a little short on creativity there at the end,
    huh?) Anyway, what am I getting at? Well, uh...nothing. He's lame, that's all.
    Below is an edited version (VERY edited) of a k-k-kewl file he wrote for the
    group. It was originally about ten pages long but I shortened it.


    How to disable Caller ID.

    blah,blah,blah,blah...He rambles about his amazing hacking group...

    Okay. Onto the program... Do you know how to disable call waiting?
    You just use the *70, feature, right? Easy, eh? Yep well all you do is
    lets say you're gonna call my bulletin board and I was a lame-paranoid
    bastard with no life who has Caller ID. Well, all you do is before my number
    you type *71,. The number would look like this:

    *71,1-618-254-4016

    You see, 70 disables call waiting and 71 disables Caller ID. Are you kicking
    yourself in the ass now for not find this out by yourself? To find little
    secrets like this, you just dial 0 and talk to the Ma Bell operator. You'll be
    amazed at how stupid the Fone Operators are...They'll tell you anything.


    Well, that's about it. That amazing top-secret classified phone company
    "secret" that he "social engineered" out of a "stupid" operator and unveiled
    to us just happens to be available to anyone that knows how to open their
    phone book. It's listed in there along with all the other standard *xx
    commands that everybody knows about and always has been. (Actually, I think
    the 618 code is *67 now. It used to be *71 when they first got it.) He wrote
    that file before Caller I.D. was even available to the area. (Ahead of his
    time, I guess.)

    Anyway, I've had Jason's phile in my hard drive forever now and the only

    reason I kept it this long is for the comic relief and thought maybe I could
    share it with everyone else. He wrote a few others, equally pathetic. That's
    it for this issue, though. Now get out to a pay phone and start ordering those
    calling cards before they quit offering personalized pins! See you in PLA029.

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