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Old 04-19-2006, 11:11 PM
Mister Rik Mister Rik is online now
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Conspiracy theory: dial phone number to see if your phone is tapped

The proprietor of my local comic book store was telling me a story related to him by another customer several years ago. The story went that if you dialed a certain number on your phone -- this was a 2- or 3-digit number -- you would hear a recording of a woman reciting an apparently random series of numbers. Supposedly, the last number spoken would indicate whether or not your phone was being tapped. Something like if it was an odd number, you were bugged.

Comic Book Guy says he tried it on several phones in different places, and it came out that every one of them was tapped, if the the theory was correct. He didn't put much stock in it.

I was sure Cecil had done a column on this topic, but I'm not having any luck finding it, so I may be mistaken. I know the one about certain shortwave radio frequencies continuously broadcasting series of numbers (for spies!), but this is a different thing.

Anybody else heard about this "conspiracy theory"?
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  #2  
Old 04-20-2006, 01:21 AM
devilsknew devilsknew is offline
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We're all tapped. You are
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Old 04-20-2006, 01:24 AM
devilsknew devilsknew is offline
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We are all tapped. You are, I am. Everything is under axiom. All formulated to algorithm. Words caught and turned coat.
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Old 04-20-2006, 01:52 AM
sleestak sleestak is offline
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Not only are the phones tapped, they cause you to repeat yourself.

Slee
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Old 04-20-2006, 03:15 AM
t-bonham@scc.net t-bonham@scc.net is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phase42
The story went that if you dialed a certain number on your phone -- this was a 2- or 3-digit number
Phone company equipment only responds when it has all the numbers needed. So if you dial a 2- or 3-digit number, it just sits and waits for you to dial the remaining 4 or 5 digits. Nothing happens until you dial them, or it times out and gives you "your call could not be completed...".

The only exceptions to this are special numbers assigned and documented by the North American Numbering plan (see http://www.nanpa.com. Such as the operation codes (0 for Operator and 1 for long distance) and the N11 numbers (211 thru 911).

So I just don't see how this conspiracy theory could possible be true.

Last edited by samclem; 04-20-2006 at 06:05 AM.. Reason: fixed coding
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  #6  
Old 04-20-2006, 05:14 AM
kanicbird kanicbird is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by t-bonham@scc.net
The only exceptions to this are special numbers assigned and documented by the North American Numbering plan (see http://www.nanpa.com).
There are others, one such one, usually a 3 digit number will read back your number, used by service techs. Some common such numbers are 958, 991, 990.
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  #7  
Old 04-20-2006, 07:22 AM
lskinner lskinner is offline
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Back in the days of REMOB, there was a special code you could dial in to make sure nobody was tapping you through REMOB. This is probably what the comic guy was thinking of.
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