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TUCoPS :: Phreaking Public Phones :: payfree.txt

Payphone Calls are Free

           )                                      )
           )       Pay Phone Calls are Free       )
           )                                      )
           )                By                    )
           )                                      )
           )            Cyber Thief               )
           )                                      )


 Much has been said on the subject of pay phones. Dozens of files have been
written that outline simple methods of fraud, but most of them are now 
really old. Which methods still work today? Which method is the safest? 
These questions come to mind when reading old files. The purpose of 
this file is to discuss some of the classic pay phone cheats, and to 
hopefully clear the air on the usefulness of those that remain. I've
employed a rating system which reflects how plausible a given trick is...

1 = Never worked.
2 = May have worked at one time.
3 = Still works most of the time.
4 = Works all the time.

   Calling Pay Phones Collect

 I once read that you could bill a collect call to a pay phone. This is done
by telling a friend to be at a certain pay phone at a certain time to accept
the charges for your call. 

Rating: 1

 This NEVER worked. The files on this were all written by idiots who knew
 not what they were talking about. The phone company is not that stupid!

   Collect Callback Trick

 In this trick, the phreak dials 1-800-COLLECT and reads back the pay phone
number or a short message when prompted for his/her name. The called party
rejects the collect call charges and calls the phreak back at the pay phone.
As long as the call TO the pay phone is local, a charge is avoided. 

Rating: 3

 This one still works most of the time. It does not work with operator 
 assisted collect calls or from pay phones that block incoming calls.

   Paper Clip Trick

 In 1987 Phrack published an article which claimed free local calls could be
made from pay phones. This was accomplished by puncturing a hole inside the
mouthpiece and using a wire (or paper clip) to make a connection between the
punctured mouthpiece and a metal part of the phone. However, the file 
doesn't tell you how to make free long distance or international calls. 
Nor do they mention this trick working on the new 35 cent pay phones.

Rating: 2

 If it were not for the fact that I got this to work, I probably would have 
 rejected the idea completely. Although most people will tell you that this
 does not work on newer pay phones, and I suspect that they are correct.

   Red Boxes

 When a coin is inserted into a pay telephone a tone burst is emulated which
tells a computer the denomination of the coin deposited. A Red Box is a 
device that simulates these tones in order to deceive the billing equipment 
into believing a coin was inserted. 

Rating: 3

 Red Box tones are still accepted by most modern pay phones. 
 However, newer phones have protection against fraud. 

   Third Party Fraud

 Many files outline methods in which the phreak bills his pay phone call to
a BBS, a test line, a voice mail box, an unsuspecting sucker, or another pay 
phone. Most of these methods are still valid.

Rating: 4

 Once again, there is absolutely no reason why the above mentioned tricks 
 would not work. Although I am rather skeptical about the "bill it to a 
 pay fone" scam.

That is it. If you have any other methods you would like reviewed, email me

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