Avoid using phone cards in airports

Richard Barth Richard.Barth@noaa.gov
Mon, 17 May 1999 11:49:51 -0400

The attached was circulated by one of the guys I work with.  Not just a
rumor or an urban legend, this happened to him.

>>From my painful experience of last week, I highly recommend that you avoid
>using payphones in airports.  [A co-worker] also had problems a couple of
>weeks ago; he has his own story, different from mine.
>I flew into Chicago/O'Hara on my way from Mexicoa Citty to BWI.  I found my
>departure gate and tried to call my wife.  I picked a payphone, heard a
>dial tone, and keyed in my personal ATT phone card number.  After going
>through the usual drill and waiting for the ring at the other end, the line
>went dead.  I tried to get a dial tone again, but the phone seemed to be
>completely dead.  So I picked another one and made a successful call.  What
>I didn't realize was the first phone was really an open line to New York
>where my phonecard tones were being recorded.  This was about 9:00pm Friday
>evening.  About noon the next day, an ATT investigator called me and
>through our discussion he indicated that my phonecard number had probably
>been intercepted and sold.  At that moment, there were about 730 minutes of
>phone charges (that's over 12 continuous hours).  They originated from New
>York, Georgia, and some calls were to Spain.  I am not looking forward to
>my next phone bill...
>So, my advice is BE CAREFUL.  I'm going back to two cans and a string.

Richard Barth *** W3HWN@AMRAD.ORG *** Silver Spring MD