Father-in-law sent me this #90 warning...

Over_Easy

GEO-STABILIZATION EXPERT
Donating Member
Registered
Subject: 90# on your telephone
>
>
> I DIALED "0" AND ASKED THE OPERATOR WHO CONFIRMED THAT WAS CORRECT SO PLEASE PASS IT ON.
>
> PASS ON TO EVERYONE YOU KNOW
>
> 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. LUCKLY, 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 SAID IT WAS TRUE, SO DO NOT DIAL 90# FOR ANYONE!!!! PLEASE HIT THAT FORWARD BUTTON AND PASS THIS ON TO EVERYONE YOU KNOW
 

guido4512

Donating Member
Registered
Cell or land line? Both?
rock.gif
 

VaBusa

oRg Gal
Staff member
Administrator
Registered
Luckily I don't have long distance service at my home; never used it and figured a cell phone is good enough if I feel the need to call far away...

...so, good luck billing anything to me! I'm pressing 90#!!!
tounge.gif
 

Over_Easy

GEO-STABILIZATION EXPERT
Donating Member
Registered
(VaBusa @ Dec. 01 2006,12:35) Luckily I don't have long distance service at my home; never used it and figured a cell phone is good enough if I feel the need to call far away...

...so, good luck billing anything to me!  I'm pressing 90#!!!  
tounge.gif
Don't know about you, VB, but my home phone is POT w/ no long distance plan (Verizon), but if someone were to pick it up and dial L.D. it would still charge me some outrageous multiple $ per hour rate.

I only have it for DSL and Tivo updates.
 

warwgn

Hi,I'm Dustin.Do you like my dancing
Donating Member
Registered
sorry to bust your bubble, but the truth must be told
beerchug.gif



This is a mutation of a real warning. The real warning was valid. The mutated hoax is not.
This hoax warning began as a legitimate warning in a particular instutition in the United States in the early 1990s, but the versions that are in circulation these days, such as what you propagated, only partially resemble the original.

The original scam warned about in the original message only applies in the United States, and only to organisations with particular types of PABX that have been configured in a particular way. The essence of the original scam was the ability of these PABXes to connect two outside lines together, using call forwarding. This is why the Recall button is involved. The sequence R90# places the original call on hold, makes a new call to an outside line, dials the operator, and then connects the original call to the new call. The PABX thus needs to have been configured to allow an outside call to be forwarded to an outside line, which most PABXes do not allow, for obvious reasons.

However, the messages that circulate now have mutated. This is partly a Chinese Whispers effect. (The messages have been circulating by word of mouth since 1998, after all.)

In many cases, for example, the all important initial Recall keypress is absent. Without this all important first step, the sequence 90# is utterly meaningless whilst a call is in progress (unless you are talking to some other equipment that uses DTMF tones, such as a voicemail system or your bank's computer -- which wouldn't be the case here), even on the specific type of PABX that has been specifically mis-configured to allow the original scam to take place. You can press 90# however much you like during a call and it will be ignored. Warnings about doing so are bogus.

Other forms of the warning assure you that dialling *90# (notice the mutation that has substituted * for R) on GSM mobile telephones will erase your SIM chip, or that one should not pick up the telephone and dial 90# because it will allow unnamed "malicious hackers" to use your telephone line at some unspecified point in the future. None of these warnings have any sound basis in fact.

The original scam doesn't work outside of the U.S. anyway. It certainly wouldn't work in the U.K. for example.
As mentioned above, the original scam only applied in the United States. What is perhaps most ironic when one sees this hoax message circulating in the U.K. (as - alas! - it does far too much) is that in the U.K., as everyone who has ever used a telephone should well know, 0 is not the code for the operator and # is not a valid telephone digit. Even if you had the right type of PABX in the U.K., and it had been misconfigured in exactly the right way, and even if you dialled the correct sequence from the original scam (i.e. with Recall), you would just connect the scam artist to the "number unobtainable" tone, which wouldn't be of much use to them.

People who circulate this hoax in the U.K. have obviously not thought about what they are reading before blithely forwarding it to other people. (Ironically, some people in the U.K. circulate variants of the hoax that talk about "AT&T Service Technicians". They obviously didn't stop and think about what they were reading at all.)

Please stop circulating this hoax.
Please do not propagate this hoax. Instead help to stamp it out, especially outside of the U.S. where even a modicum of experience with using a telephone will tell one that the "warning" that it gives is nonsense. Tell people who send this hoax to you to stop sending it to people. If you have sent the warning on to others, out of misguided kindness, tell them immediately that it is a hoax and not to sent it on to any further people themselves.

References.
The Korova Multimedia "Hoax Du Jour" essay from 1998 on The #90* Hoax.

The AT&T advice on how to avoid the original scam (not the hoax mutations).

The Internet Scambusters' article on The 90# Hoax (which they describe as an Urban Legend).

The CIAC HoaxBusters article on The 90# Hoax.

The AFU & Urban Legends Archives article on The 90# Hoax.

The Urban Legends Reference Pages article on the original scam and various related telephone scams.

A not completely serious article from the MiningCo on The 90# Hoax.
 

VaBusa

oRg Gal
Staff member
Administrator
Registered
(Over_Easy @ Dec. 01 2006,15:39)
(VaBusa @ Dec. 01 2006,12:35) Luckily I don't have long distance service at my home; never used it and figured a cell phone is good enough if I feel the need to call far away...

...so, good luck billing anything to me!  I'm pressing 90#!!!  
tounge.gif
Don't know about you, VB, but my home phone is POT w/ no long distance plan (Verizon), but if someone were to pick it up and dial L.D. it would still charge me some outrageous multiple $ per hour rate.

I only have it for DSL and Tivo updates.
Nope, our plan won't allow you to even dial long distance, period...so, someone having my # wouldn't do 'em much good...
 

Over_Easy

GEO-STABILIZATION EXPERT
Donating Member
Registered
(VaBusa @ Dec. 01 2006,12:43)
(Over_Easy @ Dec. 01 2006,15:39)
(VaBusa @ Dec. 01 2006,12:35) Luckily I don't have long distance service at my home; never used it and figured a cell phone is good enough if I feel the need to call far away...

...so, good luck billing anything to me!  I'm pressing 90#!!!  
tounge.gif
Don't know about you, VB, but my home phone is POT w/ no long distance plan (Verizon), but if someone were to pick it up and dial L.D. it would still charge me some outrageous multiple $ per hour rate.

I only have it for DSL and Tivo updates.
Nope, our plan won't allow you to even dial long distance, period...so, someone having my # wouldn't do 'em much good...
Wish I had that option on mine...greeady @ss Verizon.

Oh and thanks for the update, wrwgn. In short, just hang up on anything suspicious peeps.
 

heavybusa

Just another guy
Donating Member
Registered
(warwgn @ Dec. 01 2006,15:39) sorry to bust your bubble, but the truth must be told
beerchug.gif



This is a mutation of a real warning. The real warning was valid. The mutated hoax is not.
This hoax warning began as a legitimate warning in a particular instutition in the United States in the early 1990s, but the versions that are in circulation these days, such as what you propagated, only partially resemble the original.

The original scam warned about in the original message only applies in the United States, and only to organisations with particular types of PABX that have been configured in a particular way. The essence of the original scam was the ability of these PABXes to connect two outside lines together, using call forwarding. This is why the Recall button is involved. The sequence R90# places the original call on hold, makes a new call to an outside line, dials the operator, and then connects the original call to the new call. The PABX thus needs to have been configured to allow an outside call to be forwarded to an outside line, which most PABXes do not allow, for obvious reasons.

However, the messages that circulate now have mutated. This is partly a Chinese Whispers effect. (The messages have been circulating by word of mouth since 1998, after all.)

In many cases, for example, the all important initial Recall keypress is absent. Without this all important first step, the sequence 90# is utterly meaningless whilst a call is in progress (unless you are talking to some other equipment that uses DTMF tones, such as a voicemail system or your bank's computer -- which wouldn't be the case here), even on the specific type of PABX that has been specifically mis-configured to allow the original scam to take place. You can press 90# however much you like during a call and it will be ignored. Warnings about doing so are bogus.

Other forms of the warning assure you that dialling *90# (notice the mutation that has substituted * for R) on GSM mobile telephones will erase your SIM chip, or that one should not pick up the telephone and dial 90# because it will allow unnamed "malicious hackers" to use your telephone line at some unspecified point in the future. None of these warnings have any sound basis in fact.

The original scam doesn't work outside of the U.S. anyway. It certainly wouldn't work in the U.K. for example.
As mentioned above, the original scam only applied in the United States. What is perhaps most ironic when one sees this hoax message circulating in the U.K. (as - alas! - it does far too much) is that in the U.K., as everyone who has ever used a telephone should well know, 0 is not the code for the operator and # is not a valid telephone digit. Even if you had the right type of PABX in the U.K., and it had been misconfigured in exactly the right way, and even if you dialled the correct sequence from the original scam (i.e. with Recall), you would just connect the scam artist to the "number unobtainable" tone, which wouldn't be of much use to them.

People who circulate this hoax in the U.K. have obviously not thought about what they are reading before blithely forwarding it to other people. (Ironically, some people in the U.K. circulate variants of the hoax that talk about "AT&T Service Technicians". They obviously didn't stop and think about what they were reading at all.)

Please stop circulating this hoax.
Please do not propagate this hoax. Instead help to stamp it out, especially outside of the U.S. where even a modicum of experience with using a telephone will tell one that the "warning" that it gives is nonsense. Tell people who send this hoax to you to stop sending it to people. If you have sent the warning on to others, out of misguided kindness, tell them immediately that it is a hoax and not to sent it on to any further people themselves.

References.
The Korova Multimedia "Hoax Du Jour" essay from 1998 on The #90* Hoax.

The AT&T advice on how to avoid the original scam (not the hoax mutations).

The Internet Scambusters' article on The 90# Hoax (which they describe as an Urban Legend).

The CIAC HoaxBusters article on The 90# Hoax.

The AFU & Urban Legends Archives article on The 90# Hoax.

The Urban Legends Reference Pages article on the original scam and various related telephone scams.

A not completely serious article from the MiningCo on The 90# Hoax.
Thanks for the long write up, I assume you had this somewhere and did the ol' copy and paste.
 

warwgn

Hi,I'm Dustin.Do you like my dancing
Donating Member
Registered
(heavybusa @ Dec. 01 2006,13:58) Thanks for the long write up, I assume you had this somewhere and did the ol' copy and paste.
I googled it
AAAssjani.gif
got to love that stuff.
 

Latest Bikes

Forum statistics

Threads
177,949
Messages
3,205,699
Members
50,515
Latest member
FraterSol
Top