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TUCoPS :: Phreaking General Information :: 3rdprty.txt

More on 3rd Party Billing scams

So there I was stranded in Miami with a broken red box in one
hand and an outdated list of calling card numbers in the other
hand. Just as I was about ready to jump to my death in the ocean
because I couldn't call my friends, I got an idea. Third-party
bill my calls to random names in the phone book!

Of course, I started out using this method on pay phones which is
a pain in the ass because the operator wants to call up the
number you're billing to and make sure it's okay with them
first. So here's your detailed instructions for simplified
third-party billing. Oh, and by the way, in no way am I claiming
to be the elite guy who "discovered" third party. I mean, come
on, third party billing's been around forever and some guy said
I shouldn't take credit for something that's been done forever.
I'm just trying to explain how easy it is. Sheesh, some people!

Finding A Number To Use: ----------------------- First of all, if
you're going to be calling from home, it's best to charge the
calls to a different area code than your own. Sure, a local
number will work but when the people get their phone bill and
see a local number on it, they'll most likely call it to find
out what it is. When they see a long distance number they think
"Goodness gracious! If I call that number my phone bill will
even be higher." Even if they do call you, you can just play
ignorant and if they're far away they probably won't come looking
for you.

Pick a city, any city. The city should be far away in another
state. Now dial local information and ask for the area code to
your city. Let's say you picked Waverly, Iowa. The area code is
319. Now dial 1-319-555-1212 to call Waverly Directory
Assisstance. The charge for this call should only be about sixty

Now think of a very common last name like Smith, Lawrence,
Conner, Mitchell, Shlappenheimerwinthrop, etc. You get the idea.

OPER: Directory Assisstance, Betty. What city, please?
 YOU: Waverly. OPER: Go ahead..
 YOU: I need the number of a last name Conner. OPER: (type, type,
type) Okay I have two Conners listed. A Bob and an
      initial H.
 YOU: Bob, yeah that's it. Definately Bob. Bob it is. Gimmie Bob.
Yeah, Bob. OPER: The number is 452-0357.

So that's the number you'll bill to. 319-452-0357. Of course if
you're planning to do this extensively you'll need many more
numbers to pick from. That's when you call up the phone company
and ask for a phone book to be delivered to you so you'll have a
whole list of numbers to choose from. A normal book will cost
about $7.00 or so. If you know how to do it right, it won't cost
you anything but I won't get into that. The phone book will pay
for itself after about 3 or 4 long distance calls.

Exchange List: ------------- If you don't want to go through all
the trouble of doing the above, here's a list of exchanges you
can pick from. I'm including the area code and prefix. You just
make up four numbers after that at random.

              618-254-xxxx 409-744-xxxx 213-962-xxxx
              318-981-xxxx 314-231-xxxx 513-741-xxxx
              803-254-xxxx 319-452-xxxx 618-377-xxxx

Making The Call: --------------- Pretty easy. Dial 0-AREA
CODE-NUMBER. You'll hear a cool Bell tone and the automated
voice will ask you to enter your card number. Press "0" to skip
that part. Recently, they came out with automated third number
billing so you don't have to deal with a live operator anymore.
Isn't technology great?! The automated voice will ask you to
"say" how you want to bill your call. Just say, "third number"
and it'll ask you to touch tone in the number you want to charge
it to. Dial 319-452-0357 and presto, your call is completed.

If you get a live operator instead say, "I'd like to charge this
to my home telephone in Waverly, Iowa, the Turnip capitol of the
world." and follow the same proceedure.

Some of the more intelligent people (about 2%) put a third-number
block on their line. If this happens the recording will say,
"This call cannot be billed to this number." Solution? Hang up,
redial the number and try billing it to a different number or
just transpose a couple of the numbers you just tried.

If you don't have AT&T as your long distance carrier, dial

Calling From A Pay Phone: ------------------------ As I mentioned
before, doing it from a pay phone is a little harder but still
works. The operator will want to call the person you're billing
to a verify with them that it's okay to bill it there.

The trick is to open the phone book at the pay phone and pick a
number at random. Look for an old person's name because they're
the most gullible but anyone will do. Let's say you picked
Christian Slater 213-962-7142. Dial your number as 0-AREA
CODE-NUMBER and hit "0" after the tone.

OPER: AT&T, How may I help you?
 YOU: I want to charge this to my home phone. OPER: Will someone
be there to accept the charges?
 YOU: Who wants to know? OPER: Me.
 YOU: Okay, then, tough guy. OPER: What is your name?
 YOU: Christian Slater, you may have heard of me. OPER: (dials
213-962-7142. A lady answers the phone. Probably Slater's wife.)
LADY: Hello? OPER: Hello, this is AT&T. Christian is making a
call from a public phone and
      wishes to bill the call to you. Will you accept the
charges? LADY: Oh, yeah, okay. I'll accept.

And the operator thanks you and puts your call through. As long
as you don't get any of the following responses you should be

"Huh? But I'M Christian Slater." "Calling from a pay phone?? But
he's right here with me watching Cheers!?" "Christian died last
week." "No Hablo Engles??"

A Few Extra Notes: ----------------- Sometimes if the no one is
home at the number you're trying to bill to, you can convince
the operator that it's really you're number if you know what the
answering machine message is going to say and if you can do an
impression of their voice on the machine. Even a bad impression
will sometimes work.

When doing this from home, try not to use the same number more
than two or three times so the owner of the number will be less
likely to investigate.

I've experienced third-party billing from both sides. Someone
charged forty dollars worth of calls to my dad's phone and the
operators were very unhelpful and unfriendly. They refused to
investigate even though it was comming from a residential line
and it took two months to get the charges removed. This was back
in 1990 but I've been doing this for a few years now and people
don't seem to care too much at a few calls totaling to under ten
bucks. I've actually called the people I used and asked them
about it and they almost always blow it off as a "minor

AT&T is completely automated from your home and the best to use.
U.S.Sprint is the second best because they're not automated but
they also don't call and verify. M.C.I. sucks because they're
losers who verify no matter what so don't use them. To choose
your company, before you dial the number dial 10288 for AT&T or
10333 for U.S. Sprint.

International calls will be verified no matter what from pay
phone or home. Hope this file benefits everyone who reads it.
It'll sure cut your long distance bill down a lot.

May 13, 1995 Update: ------------------- Well, it seems that AT&T
are finally waking up to this problem of third party
billing...On my local phone bill I was backbilled for $175 worth
of third party calls. The kicker part is that I called the phone
company and complained that there were all these extra charges
on my bill that I know nothing about and they were more than
happy to take the charges off. A few weeks later, I got a letter
from AT&T concerning some more charges...

        Dear Customer,
        We are sending you this letter to advise you of the long
        calls we have billed your account. The amount is $53.70,
        taxes. These long distance calls have been investigated
by our
        Message Analysis Center and were determined to be your
        A list of these calls will appear on a future bill.
        If you would like to discuss this matter, please contact
our office
        toll-free at 1-800-522-2157, ext. 4737. Our ofice hours
are Moday
        through Friday between the hours of 8 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.
        Standard Time.

        Dawn Brooks

I've yet to hear anything more about this but I plan to just
ignore the extra charges on the bill and complain to the phone
company and hopefully I won't have to pay. If I do, oh well,
it's only fifty bucks.

Another recent happening is that two people I know have been back
billed. Martini from Illinois was charged $75 on her bill. "I
don't understand what this third number means, sir, I only have
two lines!" Also, an idiot in Oregon was back billed because he
had the itelligence to bill to the exact same number every
single time. Worse yet, the number was in Canada and it was a
non-working number and the last four digits were 1234. What a
cool guy!

Operator Diverting: ------------------ A new safe way to get
around being back billed is to operator divert before you get
AT&T. It's a pain in the ass and takes a little longer, but it
works if you really need to call from home and don't have any
other way.

Dial "0" and ask that operator to dial 1-800-225-5288 for you.
(AT&T) Tell the AT&T operator that you want to place a 3rd party
billed call. She'll ask what number you're calling from and you
give her the number of somebody that you don't like so it'll
come back on them and not you. Whatever you do, don't give her
your real phone number.


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