This chain letter has spread widely across the internet. It is based,
in part, upon what appears to be a genuine scam from the early 1990s -
but even then it only worked in the United States on some types of
telephone exchanges that had been configured in a particular way.
The chain letter is undoubtedly causing much more of a problem (by
being forwarded en masse) than the scam itself ever did. Sophos
advises computer users not to forward chain letters such as this,
and simply delete the message if it is received.
A typical example of the chain letter follows:
DO NOT push 90# on your home phone.
Got a call last night from an individual identifying himself as an AT&T
Service technician who was conducting a test on our telephone lines.
He stated that to complete the test I should touch nine (9), zero (0),
hash (#) and then hang up. Luckily, I was suspicious and refused.
Upon contacting the telephone company, I was informed that by pushing 90#,
you give the requesting individual full access to your telephone line,
which allows them to place long distance telephone calls billed to your
home phone number. I was further informed that this scam has been
originating from many of the local ails/prisons.
DO NOT press 90# for ANYONE. PLEASE pass this on to your friends.
If you have mailing lists and/or newsletters from organisations you are
connected with, I encourage you to pass this on.