TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Huge Amount of E-Bay Fraud Going on Online

Huge Amount of E-Bay Fraud Going on Online

Neal McLain (
Fri, 16 Dec 2005 10:39:42 -0600

I've noticed a curious building here in Brazoria, Texas. It's an old
two-story frame building with an ancient sign painted on the front:


I suppose the idea of a combination barber shop and insurance agency
would catch most people's attention. But of course it was those phone
numbers that caught my attention.

When I first noticed the building, it was standing vacant, and looked
like it was about to fall down. A couple of years ago, the City of
Brazoria cited the building for several code violations, and ordered
the owner to either fix it up or tear it down. The owner decided to
renovate it, and hired a local contractor.

One day I noticed the contractor installing siding. I stopped to ask
him if he was going to cover the sign. He sort of shrugged and
muttered something to the effect that he hadn't thought about it. I
mentioned the phone numbers. That got his attention -- apparently he
hadn't realized they were phone numbers. He said "you mean like..."
and poked an imaginary touchtone dial a couple of times. No, I
explained ... back in those days, you picked up the telephone and
asked the operator to connect you. He stared at the sign for a few
seconds, shrugged, and went back to work. I took a couple pictures,
figuring that I'd never see that sign again.

The sign is still visible today, although the building is still
vacant. The contractor left an opening in the vinyl siding just large
enough for the old sign.

I've always wondered if my brief conversation about phone numbers saved
that sign.

Neal McLain

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: Thanks for passing along those
pictures! PAT]

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