The 9 - 0 - # scam has
been around for years and is directed at businesses, hospitals,
government agencies and other organizations that use telephone
switching equipment to handle their calls. This scam does not
affect residential customers.
How This Scam Occurs
You receive a call from someone claiming to be a
telephone company employee investigating technical problems with your
line, or checking up on calls supposedly place to other states or
countries from your line. The caller asks you to aid the
investigation by either dialing 9 - 0 - # or transferring him/her to
an outside line before hanging up the telephone receiver. By
doing this, you may be enabling the caller to place calls that are
billed to your office telephone number.
You Should Know
Telephone company employees checking for technical or other types of
telephone service or billing problems would not call and ask for a
subscriber to dial a specific series of numbers before hanging up the
Telephone company employees would not
request subscribers to connect the caller to an outside line before
hanging up the receiver.
These types of calls are made to trick
subscribers into taking actions that will enable the caller to place
This scam only works if your telephone is served by a private branch
exchange (PBX) or private automatic branch exchange (PABX).
What to Do
If your place of business utilizes
either a PBX or PABX, you or your company telecommunications manager
should contact the manufacturer of the PBX or PABX and the telephone
companies that provide you with local and long distance service to
obtain information about the type of security systems available to
protect your telephone system from toll fraud. You may also ask
about any monitoring services that help detect unusual telephone
Avoid Being a Target
To avoid becoming a target of this scam, educate yourself
and other employees about the 9 - 0 - # scam. Encourage
employees to take the following steps if they think that a telephone
call is fraudulent or is part of this scam:
Ask the caller for
his/her name and telephone number;
Tell the caller
you are going to call the telephone company immediately to determine
whether or not there is a problem with the line;
up the receiver; do not dial any numbers or transfer the caller to
an outside line before hanging up;
Find the telephone
number for your telephone service provider and/or its security
office and report the suspicious phone call. Be prepared to
provide details of the call to the telephone company representative.
If you have any questions, please contact deputy Shawn Brownell at
(818) 878-1808, ext. 3103.
Message Directly from
AT&T for their Customers:
To report this or any other phone scams,
AT&T business customers should call their account representatives.
You can also call the AT&T Business Customer Care Center at 1 (800)