=  F.U.C.K. - Fucked Up College Kids - Born Jan. 24th, 1993 - F.U.C.K.  =

                                Toll Fraud

        Do you ever wonder why your phone rates are so expensive? Do
you consider your rates to be 'pretty good'? If so, you need to reconsider
some facts about your phone company. Regardless of what carrier you are
going through, you are getting charged unmercifully for basic services 
that are fully automated, and basically cost free on maintenence.

        A few months ago I read a book called _Information Warfare_ by
Winn Schwartau. Great book, and I recommend it. In one of his chapters he
dealt with telephone fraud and mentioned some basic facts, methods, etc. 
Some of the stats he put in there intrigued me, and in turn lead to this 
file. He printed up MCI's estimates of alleged phone fraud/abuse for 
19__ in this chapter. Here they are:

     Stolen Long Distance         $1,800,000,000
     800 Toll Fraud                  350,000,000
     Victim Costs                     51,000,000
     Carrier and Vendor Fees          32,000,000
     Cellular Fraud                  700,000,000
     Credit Card Toll Fraud          400,000,000
     COCOT Fraud                      60,000,000
     Subscription Fraud              300,000,000
     Telabuse                      5,200,000,000

     Total                        $8,893,000,000

        This means that every person in the world (all 5 billion or so) 
has committed $1.77 of telephone fraud. If this is purely domestic, then 
that means each American commited some $29.65 worth of toll fraud. Do you 
believe it?

        Assuming about 400,000 people in the world (Hackers, Phreaks, 
Gangs, Phone Employees, etc..) have the skills and recorces to actually 
commit toll fraud, and are willing too, that is $22,232.50 in toll fraud 
per person. 

        In the book, it doesn't go into detail about what each of these
categories mean. Some are quite obvious, but others are extremeley vague,
and happen to have the larger numbers. Lets break these down real quick
and figure out what they mean.

If all those other ones are toll fraud, then why should victim cost be in 
there? Isn't that what fraud is? Stealing service/money from another?
Since when does that actually COST the victim? If someone steals some 
calls from me by beige boxing, do I actually PAY for anything? No.
This is a convenient way for them to put the number in there twice.

Carrier and Vendor Fees is 32 mil? Translated, they are charging way 
too much for some really basic shit. 

COCOT fraud - 60 mil?!?! The only way it could be that high is if everyone 
knew how to abuse one, and it actually worked. I can tell you that in
several NPAs I have been in, including the one I live in, it is much easier
to build a red box and hit normal payphones instead of spending time
to do a COCOT. 

Subscription fraud..hmm. guess that means when new customers subscribe 
and then cancel after getting some free service, if so, then once again, 
look at what they are charging!  

Stolen Long Distance is one of the highest on the chart. Problem is, once 
again they are putting the same shit on there twice (if not more now). If
I abuse a COCOT what do I do? Steal long distance. If I hack a cellular
phone and make a call, what am I stealing? If I use someone else's credit
or calling card, what am I stealing in the long run? Long Distance, yet 
those topics are all individually put on the chart.

And the ever so cryptic 'teleabuse'. What the fuck is that if not 
everything else they listed?

        The point of all this. Those figures are the basis for inflating 
rates to counter fraud. Credit Card companies, cell companies, phone 
companies, and all sorts of other companies do the same thing. And we 
wonder why inflation exists?

        Last thing to consider.. If those are the stats for MCI alone,
think of what AT&T will claim? 15 Billion? 20 Billion? Do you REALLY 
think people steal that much phone service? Do they have a legitimate 
argument to raise prices THAT much? I didn't think so.. write to your
senator, the Better Business Beureau, and to the phone company itself.
Tell them to quit with the bullshit reason for inflated prices.

"There are two kinds of customers; those that have been the victims of toll 
 fraud, and those who will be." - MCI, 1991


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