TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Two Strange Phone Calls Today

Two Strange Phone Calls Today

TELECOM Digest Editor (
Mon, 30 Oct 2006 18:02:10 EST

I thought it would be a good idea to make note of this while it was
fresh in my memory. At about 3:45 PM a message went to my voice mail
where the person said "are you still there?" That was all he said,
but the voice-driven caller ID (on Vonage voicemail) said the call
was from 512-220-2013. Then almost immediatly, the same voice called
again and I saw his number this time on my own caller ID from the
same 512-220-2013 number. This person did not identify himself, but
seemed interested in speaking to "John Dunbar", who I gather is a
reporter from a newspaper, maybe in Seattle. He did not have the
message ID or any sure way of telling me _where_ to look for the
old message (in the hopes of finding a clue as to 'John Dunbar' I
thought maybe I could find the message somewhere. He said the email
address he saw on the message was 'john dunbar'

Well that tipped me off it must have been an item from the RSS feed
used here of AP/Reuters/other services. I told him I had no such
person as "John Dunbar" here; that it probably was a newswire feed item
and to try the Associated Press or Seattle newspaper to reach his
party. Anyway he hung up. I kept searching for the item and finally
found it from October 13, and indeed it was in the feed for that day.
So, good citizen that I try to be I decided to call him back now that
I had the message in hand. Guess what? The number 512-220-2013 is
apparently Austin, TX and not only is it a bogus number of some kind,
it produced various results on dialing it a few times. A couple times
I was told (with tones) number not in service; and a couple of times
I recieved a recording saying, "all lines are busy, please try later".
Once I got _both_ recordings! The not in service version first, then
after a few seconds of sitting there in silence, I heard the 'all
lines are busy, try later' version.

I hung up and decided to just write it off as some sort of a sneaky
prank call when lo-and-behold, the phone line reserved for calls
on Digest things (602-402-0134) rang again, and it was the same
voice, but this time the caller ID said the call was from Irvine, CA
and the number given was 949-296-0549. This was a _real_ number of
some automobile dealer or perhaps a automobile financial lending service.
The woman who answered the call that time was evasive also; she
hastended to assure me 'they had several lines there' and no way of
telling who called about what. I told her thanks and was about ot
hang up, when she said "wait a minute; I will see if I can help".
She vanished from the line, it started ringing again, and this time
a different man answered; full of questions for me about who I was,
and then 'please hold on' which I did for all of thirty seconds or
so and the line went completely dead again. Thinking maybe I had
misdialed the second (949 Irvine, CA) number I tried that one again,
got the same lady and told her excuse the ring and hung up.

Now, the mystery message which I finally located written by John
Dunbar was the one published October 14 around midnight where Mr.
Dunbar reported that AT&T had gotten stalled on their plans to
take over all telephony service in the USA once again. I assume
that is the message the man was complaining about; he was so very
secretive otherwise. And since the original call(s) -- there were
two, remember, one picked up by voicemail and the next one
immediatly following both came from a bogus number in Austin, TX
amd what major corporation do we know which is located there in
recent months having merged with another infamous bunch?

I think the man may have been using a voice-changing device on his
phone since calls two and three (512 number) were different than
the voice(s) on calls one (to voicemail only) and four (my call back
to the Irvine, CA number). Its all very strange to me ... very, very

This email got the whole thing started:

Date: Oct 30 2006 03:28:32 PM
From: Outside Caller (15122202013)
To : Patrick Townson (16204020134)
You have 1 unreviewed message(s).

Anyone have any ideas on it?


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