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Ma Bell

People think that a telephone lock defeats pirate callers. However, according to Toby Bill, telephone locks can be defeated.

“When you dial a number normally, 5 for example, as the dial rolls back to its original position, it breaks the signal the number of times indicated – 5 in this case – and so on for each number dialed. That’s how a dial operates,” Toby explains.

“To achieve the same effect, i.e. `dialing’ and getting a number, all you have to do is tap rapidly on the little button at the top of the telephone – the little part you use to `hang up’ when you put down the reciever.

“Let’s say you wanted to call 123-4567. You would tap on that button once, pause half a second, tap rapidly twice, pause, tap three times fast, pause, and so on. It takes a little practice to get the numbers right, but it does work. So much for locked telephones,” he adds.

If your mark’s telephone is the popular “touch tone” type, you can easily render him sans telephone with a few drops of superglue on the buttons. Or as Old Greavy suggested, glue the handset of any telephone to the main body.

If you have access to the mark’s telephone, you might want to call in a bomb threat to some company, institution, or government office. The grabber is that you leave his phone off the hook, then you split. The call will be traced, and someone official will come to visit your mark.

Want to reach out and annoy someone? Go to a pay telephone in some very isolated rural area or a dangerous urban area – a telephone few people are likely to use. Call the mark, establish that you are speaking to the mark, then just lay the telephone down and walk away without hanging up. This will render the mark’s telephone inoperable until someone either hangs up that pay telephone or the telephone company locates the trouble for the mark.

A lot of banks, post offices, and airports have dialless courtesy telephones with autodialers built in. Their idea is for you to use this as a service telephone or to get help with a programmed number. But, according to another Ma Bell guerrilla, P. Wallington Symms, you can use a standard touch tone phone keyboard – usually available from Radio shack for about $6.95 – to make outgoing calls on these courtesy telephones. Some phone phreaks call these White Boxes. You can get busted for this, so be careful.

When you really want to reach out and touch your mark, call Ma Bell’s security people and tell them that it’s your civic duty to report that the mark is using one of the dreaded Blue or Red Boxes to make illegal calls. Call either from a pay telephone, or make it more credible and call from some third party telephone. Even better, if you work in the same office or building as your mark, use his office phone….or, use the phone of a second mark. But, mainly, let those fingers get busy walking…report your phone phreak of a mark for using a Blue or Red Box.

In her continuing war against Ma Bell, a delightful trickster from San Luis Obispo, Ma ReBel, has come up with a secondary mark campaign. As noted earlier, the mention of the dreaded Blue Box causes the Mutha Bell’s security people to go into a mouth-frothing tirade of paranoia. Ma ReBel says to have your secondary mark sell Blue Boxes. All you do is place some classified ads in local, or national for that matter, underground newspapers, swinger publications, freak newsletter, protest pamphlets, et cetera. You mark’s ad copy has a big headline which reads “BUY A BLUE BOX CHEAP,” folloed by an explanation pf how the customer can use the Blue Box to make free telephone calls. The ads say nothing about illegality but promise quick, confidential service and that “we maintain no records.” You can also use handbills, circulars, and public notices on bulletin boards to advertise. You mark’s name, address, and telephone number constitute the logo for these ads. If you’re the careful sort of person who wears both suspenders and a belt, just in case, you might want to clip one or more of these ads and send them to Mutha Bell..from a concerned, law-abiding citizen, or course. Veteran anti-Bell guerrilla fighters tell me this one is 100 percent guaranteed to get Big Mother to come out swinging with all her legal and paraCIA might.

An original Jimi the Z suggestion for the Blue Box is to use your with your mark’s telephone. Use it carelessly and make all sorts of expensive calls so that Ma Bell’s KGB agents will come down hard on the mark, thinking that he or she is the Blue Boxer. By the way, jimi says to enjoy your Blue and Red Boxes now, because both will be obsolete within two to four years due to technology. Then, I guess, it will have to be Satellite Box time. Maybe, this is where tapping comes into the picture.

You’re in a phone booth late at night. You slip some coins in the slot and call. No answer. You retrieve your coins, dipping your fingers into the narrow slot, hoping for the ridge of a coin.

Slop, warm, gush…yuk…GUNKY WETNESS on your fingers!

Billy McMillan will laugh, because he was the guy who filled up that pay telephone coin return slot with used, soggy chewing tobacco. The funny part is, you touched it.

Can you think of a good, justified, personal application for this stunt?

What took you so long?

This next trick will work well with any telephone complex but seems to work best on the private operations like PBX, accoring to telephonic engineer Marvin Basil. If you want to get back at someone or some outfit using their phone system in a rather harmless, prankish way, open the building’s telephone wall plate and put a huge magnet inside. The next time one line rings, they all will ring. This will continue until someone either finds and removes the magnet or calls for a service person to do it.

Think of the revenge you can get in your corporate or institutional mark has an INWATS-PBX-OUT telephone system, also known as an 800 line. Get access to such a telephone be visiting an office while it’s occupant is out to lunch, in conference, on vacation, or away for the weekend. You can pose as anything from an emplyee to a repairperson. You might want to know the time and weather in Auckland, New Zealand for example. And, you might want to know it often. Call and make some new friends in the USSR, China, or Thailand. Or call Cuba. Call Argentina. If you know the mark’s access codes, you can do it in more safety from a pay telephone.

Because of a time lapse between a cost estimate, completion time, and a computer malfunction that was totally the telephone company’s fault, telephone service was disrupted for the now defunct law firm of Swinefeldt and Schwanz according to their former office manager, Willi Wegner.

“Our firm’s partnership dissolved only partly because of this, but either way, I was out of a job,” Wegner claims. “So, in addition to job hunting, I struck out at our mean mother of a phone company.

“I went into a Phonecenter Store, one of those retail outlets where Ma sells her designer phones. I headed for one of her `Custom Calling’ telephones on the wall which are usually white and sometimes marked `Courtesy Phone.’

“I called all over the country for about ten minutes. I did the same thing in two other Phonecenters but always altered my calling patterns, even my appearance. Then, I cruised away from there for a good long while,” Wagner warns.

I ran this through one of Ma Bell’s still-on-the-job employees who is one of us at heart, and he said, “You have no idea how much this irritates management and upsets out security people. Done right, it’s fairly foolproof.”

Virgil M. Benson has this phony friend named Ray Hastings who cost Virgil a lot of money. It seemed that every party, every visit, every chance, old Ray used Virgil’s telephone to call long distance. As the toll charges went up and up, Virgil burned and burned, yet he paid and paid. Then, he read *Get Even*.

“It was simple, after that. I got a book on telephonic engineering from our library and devised this pay-back method,” Virgil writes. “Get access to the B-Box (or whatever your local company calls it) in your mark’s apartment complex. It’s the little box where all the apartment telephone lines hook up to the main trunk line. It’s in the basement or laundry/storage area in most apartments. For houses, they are on the poles.

“Disconnect your mark’s phone line and hook up a lineperson’s handset – easily available at most Radio Shack stores. Call all your buddies all over the world. Call person to person; call often. Let Ma Bell and the mark fight about who pays for what.”

This must be a fairly common scam as I got the same suggestion from six other readers, including one who is a former lineman for Southern Bell. The M.O. in each case was exactly the same. Delightful dialing out there, gang.

It’s too bad more people don’t know about something known in the trade as “Call Forwarding.” In this service, Ma Bell gives you a code which you dial into your telephone. Thereafter, at your signal, all calls to that telephone will be diverted to another number which you dial in after the code. I’d like to rename it “Creative Call Fowarding.” Creative comes into this if you have covert access to the mark’s telephone and know his codes. If he or she is away for a few days, why not dial in the proper codes to divert his calls to Moscow, Bangkok, or Perth? According to my friends at Ma Bell, the mark will be billed for all the call diversion services – international as well as national.

Do you know how you can tell when you reach middle age. It’s Saturday night, the telephone rings..and you pray it’s not for you. Ever hear from the Telephone Bore? This is someone who doesn’t know when to quit. Or it’s someone who talks for twenty minutes and says nothing. Or it’s someone you don’t want to talk to: a relative, bill collector, salesperson, boss, lover, spouse, employee, or even a Jesus Junkie.

As always, there are ways to handle this unwanted caller. In her magnificent tract titled “Getting Off On The Phone,” the famed journalist Tina Rickson lists a number of ways to break off telephone conversations.

In the interest of public service, here are some of better methods.
  • “I’m expecting an immediate return call from the White House (or some other Oz-like symbol) and must keep this line open.” Hang up and leave your phone off the hook for five days.
  • “OhmiGod, there’s a police officer running across my front lawn, and he’s waving his revolver toward the house.”
  • “Hold on the neighbor just came by to say my car rolled out onto the street and has traffic tied up.”
  • “Shhh, listen…that strange man who was here a few days ago said he thinks the line is being tapped. Are they after you or me? Hello? Hello?”
  • Pretend to be an answering machine by saying, “Hello, I’m not home right now. But if you leave your name and number, I will…”
  • Pretend you can’t hear the other party. Ask them to hang up and dial again. Then either leave your telephone off the hook or don’t answer it.
  • Pick up the telephone and scream into it and loudly as you possibly can. The more inhuman the sound, the better.
  • Scream an especially scatological or dehumanizingly vile obscenity.
  • “Oh, oh, my brat overflowed the toilet again…gotta go!”
  • “Terribly sorry, but I’m taking part in a national poll on what Americans think of registering medflies as illegal aliens, and they asked me to hold this line open for the next two weeks.”
  • “Do you have any idea at all how awful your breath is? Take a mint or something and call me back in a few years.”

Her personal favorite is to record on a blank cassette the sound of a telephone ringing, then switch your tape recorder to the playback mode. When you are faced with an unwanted caller, simply turn on the machine, and that caller, simply turn on the machine, and that caller hears the other phone ringing in the background. You excuse yourself to answer “the other line.”

Sure it’s simple. But it works.

Airman Inside has a wonderful idea to deal with the telephones themselves. He writes, “Phones themselves are easily messed up if you have a mark you want to hassle that way. All you do is pull out the modular plug, then paint over the contacts with clear nail polish, let dry, then stick it back in. It’s all `Hello? Hello? Hello?’ with no answer.”

One more warning: *Do not ever trash a pay phone.* There are legitimate emergencies that all of us face, and only an idiot/goon would wreck our only communication with the outer world. NEVER trash a pay phone! If you ever see or know someone who has hit a pay phone, Hayduke that mark HARD!

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