View Full Version : Phone Scam: Do not press 90#

06-08-2003, 11:28 AM
Some people have been receiving calls from people perpetrating to be line technicians, who have been conducting tests on their telephone lines.

This is not true. If anyone phones you and asks you to press 9 (nine), 0 (zero), and # (hash) consecutively, please be aware that by doing so, you will be giving the person full access to your telephone line. This means that they can then conduct long distance telephone calls, that are billed to your account.

Apparently, this scam has been originating largely from local prisons. Telecom are, and I quote, "aware of the problem and are doing our best to address it". I received notice of this scam via email, but I assure you it is not fake. I personally phoned Telecom to verify that this alert was real, and they confirmed it for me. If you don't believe it, dial 123 from a landline, press 0, and ask the operator about the 90# scam.


Susan B
06-08-2003, 11:39 AM
I received that email and was wondering if it was one of those hoaxes or not.

Thanks for the warning, I will have to tell the rest of the house about it.

06-08-2003, 11:49 AM
I've spoken with a contact within Telecom who said it is not a problem in the Telecom network. But don't do it, anyway.

06-08-2003, 12:02 PM
Its simply not an issue for residential telephones, it has no effect.

It would only work where businesses have a PABX, and use 9 for an outside line.

06-08-2003, 12:11 PM
The email I received was from a TelstraClear customer, but all the same, I phoned Telecom, and they said the scam was real (didn't say anything else to me, though), so it's probably safer not to do it anyway.

06-08-2003, 12:22 PM
If you don't believe that it does not affect normal residential telephones then read this (http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/consumerfacts/90Scam.html) from the FCC.

Its an old trick, and there would be only a few businesses in NZ that could be affected, as most use 0 or 1 for an outside line.

Basically it would result in the incoming trunk line for a business being re-directed outside the business for unfettered use.

Many modern PABX are programmed to deny this operation as well.

So don't panic. Google if you want to read up on it.

06-08-2003, 12:58 PM
hahahhaahha you'd have to be a fool to do that... must be the same people that give out their eftpos pin number when the bank gives them a call.

06-08-2003, 01:09 PM
hi Agent.

Just found your posting and actully rang Telecom myself to check this out.

Was told gategorically that this is incorrect, it can't happen and Telecom have done some exhaustive checking.

The operator I spoke to was pleased that I had rung, they'd much rather people be safe than sorry but she also said "thank heavens their calls about this are beginning to taper off"

I did use a landline and did ring 123.

06-08-2003, 02:17 PM
Please people, this is effectively Junk Mail / Hoax Virus material.

Its technically possible overseas, less so here as I have stated above.

PLEASE read this (http://www.itd.umich.edu/virusbusters/hoaxes/phone.html) article, and leave poor old Telecom alone.

This Junk Email is 5 years old now, so please please read at least one of the 15,600 sites listed on Google exposing it before ringing Telecom...

06-08-2003, 02:29 PM
Right then.

Still, my school system uses 9 to access an outside line... ]:)

Susan B
06-08-2003, 02:29 PM
Well if Agent did phone Telecom and got confirmation from someone there that it is genuine and not a hoax then what does that say about Telecom??

Their frontline staff should all be as informed as the one Iris dealt with.

06-08-2003, 02:41 PM
This problem may affect older PABXs. Ours is not. Even if we dial 10#. I suspect that it is true for older PABXs as there control sofware may be unpatched for this error.

As a lot of PABXs are made or designed in the US, it wont hurt to actually test your own PABX. Simply direct-dial a collegue with your cellphone or outside line and ask them to press 90# or 10# and if you go nowhere you are safe. No need to hassle Telecom.

Billy T
06-08-2003, 02:55 PM
*cough* This hoax was thoroughly debunked in the newspapers some time over the last 14 days so give Godfather and Telecom a break by not perpetuating it in this thread.

Must be a slow posts day :D


Billy 8-{)

06-08-2003, 03:45 PM
Telecom's Manager of Fraud services has said this is a HOAX and will not work in NZ or 10# or 90#

06-08-2003, 05:35 PM
My brother in law works at Telecom, and he also says it is a hoax.

06-08-2003, 11:39 PM
How come everyone knows someone who works in Telecom?

07-08-2003, 07:02 PM
Maybe coz it's a big company?

08-08-2003, 10:18 PM
OK, Ok here's the low down, I've been in Telecommunications since 1979, the last ten years in PABX's. Here's what happens, If some one told you to dial 90# or even 10# then all they would hear in their ears is 3 DTMF beeps. The trick is whether or not they have asked you to press the transfer key on your keyphone first if you were connected to a PABX. Now most PABX operators know full well that this will initiate a call transfer, when they dial 1 or 9 this transfer will send the incoming caller back out on an outgoing line, the 0 initiates a call to the toll network but the hash or # would simply be an incorrect digit, which would be rejected by the toll network and no such number tone would be returned to the caller. Bottom line, it really is a hoax.

09-08-2003, 02:42 PM
Good question - what does this say about Telecom ?

I was extremely cynical about this one and also rang Telecom. The chap there assured me it was true - and I believed him! How embarrassing!


09-08-2003, 05:45 PM
Perhaps the representative that j.harper and I spoke to thought we were asking if it was a hoax. I don't know about Mr Harper, but I was asking if the 90# thing was real - if it would work.

In any case, I don't like Telecom - they pretty much have a monopoly as a provider, and my current knowledge is that they have a monopoly on telephone lines - does TelstraClear still rent access to the lines, or do they use their own now?