telescum tape label

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Make Sure You "Accurately" Fill Out Survey Forms!


Telescum are being forced to rely on various forms of directly provided data. Key to this is something called the "home telephone number". Obviously you want that "home telephone number" to be bogus...

Instead of bogus information, why not give really bogus information?

The Economics and a Note

Telescum claim that their lists are parsed from surveys, contests and customer response forms. This is only partially true, although the telescum tell the flunkies that's the only source of their victims in hopes that the flunkies will believe it. The telescum obtain their calling lists wherever they can, but "targeted" lists are most valuable.

In addition to the economics, payphones provide good entertainment for the people who answer the telemarketing call.

If a survey says, "One purpose of this survey is so that we can sell your name to telemarketers," they're being straight with you. So don't give them bogus information. (Yeah sure, as if there are honest telemarketers, but we can always hope!)

ANI (Automatic Number Identification)

The important thing to know about ANI is that it's available even if you block caller ID. ANI is provided on calls to toll-free (800) numbers.

ANI is the telephone signal used to identify sources or calls. It is not available to consumers, with three exceptions.

  1. Toll-free (800) services receive the ANI signal.
  2. Call trace (usually *57 in North America) use the ANI signal.
  3. Some selective call reject services use ANI. If you are able to guess the number, you can "block last number" followed by an attempt to manually insert the putative number. The selective call reject service will reject the manual entry if it matches.
ANI is also available to other services, such as 911.

ANI is different from Caller ID. Caller ID uses separate signal to provide (or not provide) caller ID information. Enhanced 911 is also distinct from ANI, although 911 services also have access to ANI.

Payphones and ANI

What this means is that if you call out on a payphone, the people with the 800 number (or anyone else looking at ANI) will know it's a payphone. But that only applies to calls dialed out from a payphone.

If someone places a call to a payphone, they don't know it's a payphone unless either:

  1. somebody tells them, or
  2. they get a "this phone does not accept incoming calls" recording, or
  3. they're a telephone billing operator,
There are exceptions, but the idea is that someone collecting numbers of telemarketing victims won't know.


If you fill in a survey with a payphone number, then the predictive dialer equipment will proceed to dial the payphone.

It's possible to jot them down from payphones, but The Telemarketing Scum Page has people who do that for you! Go to www.payphone-directory. org They have them sorted by whether the phone takes incoming calls among other things.

There's More.

If the telemarketer has the name linked with the payphone, he/she/it will probably use it. (It's often in the script. Using the victim's name helps in intimidating the victim, which is very desirable to the telemarketer. Remember the telemarketer is a complete stranger to the victim, so the use of a personal name cannot be considered "friendly".)

So be creative. Since the telemarketer is usually calling from out of the area, local place names make good personal names. Make it amusing for the person who picks up the phone. If your payphone is Grand Central Terminal, use something like, "Fahlan Kaghbee" or "Ehnie Ogdtraine".

Have fun! ... and make it fun for whomever answers the payphone!

Pacific Island and Caribbean Numbers

The North American Numbering Plan (NANP) includes several countries which incur international toll call rates. These include Pacific Island phone numbers and Caribbean phone numbers If some business is collecting phone numbers, make the calls more interesting for them.

Hanging up does not work!
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originally posted 14-july-01   rev October 9, 2007 Stan Protigal