TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Phony Identification

Re: Phony Identification

mc (
Tue, 17 Oct 2006 22:09:44 -0400

> The number on my Caller ID reads 617-000-0000, and I pick it up,
> half-thinking it might be James Bond. A little disappointingly, the
> call is from the Suffolk County district attorney's office. Law
> enforcement types, apparently, can manipulate the telephone system to
> hide their real numbers. It makes sense. There are bad guys out there,
> and prosecutors don't necessarily want them phoning back.

Can one rely on areacode-000-0000 to be a nonexistent number? If so,
I might put it in the first position of my autodialer, which sometimes
gets triggered accidentally.

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: It is interesting how numbers like
that, such as 000-000-0000 are obviously incorrect, and are intended
only as a way to defeat caller ID, yet some of the telcos -- SBC
comes to mind -- refuse to do anything about it. SBC is much more
dedicated to their large commercial accounts than they are the
vast majority of their subscribers. For a period of a couple months I
was receiving several calls daily (from AT&T of all people, and this
was long before the merger of that company and Southwestern Bell)
trying to collect on a bill from someone who had my special ring-ring
number long before I had it.

When it finally got to the point I had to make appeal to the
chairman's office at SBC to try and get those calls stopped, the lady
who took my call insisted there was nothing SBC could do. "And as long
as they provide their number to you, we cannot stop their call merely
because you subscribe to anonymous call rejection." I kept telling her
they were not 'providing their number' to me; they were providing all
zeros; but, according to SBC, that was good enough ... 'they are
giving you a number'. I asked her why didn't telco do a database-dip
on all obviously incorrect numbers, and decline those with no ID
available. She said that was not how they did things. No, I guess
not. It ended as a stalemate. I was free to either keep their service
as is, or get my phone turned off. The way I settled it was to switch
away from SBC to one of their competitors, which still did not
eliminate the problem of people plugging in bogus numbers (to get
around those of us who block _deliberatly withheld_ (using *67 before
dialing) but it did eliminate the problem of ignorant people
responding for the chairman. PAT]

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