Thursday, July 06, 2006

90# phone scam / pseudo virus

Today, I recieved this e-mail from a mate. As I am in the Telecommunications Industry he asked me whether it was legit or not. Here's the e-mail:

Subject: Confirmed by Telstra and Police Dept - Australia

Please pass on. This has been confirmed by Telstra

DO NOT push 90# on your home phone

I got a call last night from an individual identifying himself as an AT&T Service technician who was conducting a test on our telephone lines. He stated that to complete the test I should touch nine(9), zero(0), hash(#) 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 allows them to place long distance telephone calls billed to your home phone number.

I was further informed that this scam has been originating from many of the local gaols/prisons. DO NOT press 90# for ANYONE. PLEASE pass this on to your friends.

If you have mailing lists and/or newsletters from organisations you are connected with, I encourage you to pass this on.

Stephen COOPER
Detective Senior Constable 29748
Victoria Police State Crime Squads
Level 12, 412 St. Kilda Road, Melbourne
*(03) 986n nnnn or 0414 nnn nnn
e-mail address deleted

* I have replaced the phone numbers with "n"'s because the numbers are actually for Detective Senior Constable Stephen Cooper. (His phone is now on voicemail)

Point 1: AT&T do not have a presence in Australia
Point 2: I have recieved this e-mail at least twice per year since 1998 or so.
Point 3: All that this e-mail represents is the most benign form of a "virus". My mate had it, now I've got it - again!

Check the snopes website. They're world famous for proving or disproving urban legends (which this is).

AT&T have their own page dedicated to this scam.

Here is an article from The Age newspaper in Melbourne about it. The title says it all: "Well-used email hoax back in circulation". The article is dated July 1, 2003 !

Needless to say, I returned the e-mail to my mate and told him to just delete it.

ring ring


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