Scam Artists Can Trick You Into Dialing "90#" on Your Phone And Use Your Line For Long Distance Calls -Truth!  & Fiction!

Scam Artists Can Trick You Into Dialing “90#” on Your Phone And Use Your Line For Long Distance Calls –Truth!  & Fiction!

Summary of eRumor:

The warning is that a scammer claiming to be from the phone company calls and asks your help in testing the line by having you to dial “90#.”   (Some later versions of the email say it’s “#90.”) 

Once you do that, the scammer can use your telephone to make long distance calls which will be charged to your number.

The Truth:

AT&T says most residential phone users don’t have to worry about this one.  

It affects electronic phone systems that are almost exclusively used by businesses, and not all the business systems are vulnerable.

AT&T also wants everybody to know that its technicians do not ask customers to participate in repairing or testing the phones, so anybody who makes this kind of request should be suspect.  

Most of us are aware that many business phone systems require a “9” to be dialed in order to access an outside telephone line.  What the scammer is doing in making the “90#” request is having you transfer his call outside of your business phone system, then the “0” connects with the operator.  The “#” sign completes the procedure, depending on what kind of system you’re using.  After that, the scammer can ask the operator to dial whatever numbers he wants and it’ll all be charged to your business.  

AT&T says this is a variation on a variety of ways that thieves would trick employees at businesses into connecting them to outside lines.

As was mentioned, this doesn’t apply to all electronic phone systems and even some of the systems that require dialing “9” to get an outside line have been configured to prevent this and other fraud.

There is also a version of this eRumor that falsely claims that this scam can be perpetrated on your mobil phone and warns not to allow anyone to ask you to dial 90# or #09 on your mobile phone.  
The eRumor claims that doing so will access your “SIM” (subscriber identity module) card on the phone and the crooks can youse your mobile number to make phone calls at your expense.

Last updated 11/15/03