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FTC Bans Prerecorded Telemarketing Drivel

k4_pacific cardholder services (381 comments)

I used to get calls all the time from "cardholder services". From what I gathered, it's basically a scam where they charge you and then call up your credit card company to ask for a lower rate. Apparently, people who went in for this had their cards billed for thousands. I've asked them repeatedly to remove me from their list to no avail. Here's how I finally got them to stop calling.

First I pressed "1" for a live operator. Now to fuck with them and remain consistent, I made up a cheat sheet in advance. On it I wrote a fake credit card number, an expiration date, a fake "card not present" number, a fake SSN, fake balance, etc. They require you to have at least $3000 in debt and at least $2500 in available credit on at least one card to cover their fees.

One thing they ask for is the customer service number for the card so they can call your bank, which they do while you are on hold. So, I used this page of bank ID numbers when making my fake credit card number, and I also googled my chosen bank's customer service number (I picked Wachovia). Also I rigged the number to validate by the Luhn algorithm in case their systems check for that. This way we have a very plausible but totally fake credit card number which will hopefully pass any initial consistency checking they may do.

So I put this cheat sheet by the phone and waited for the call. Within a few hours, they called.

I answer their questions. First they ask about my debt. I tell them $9000 across two cards. I mention my "Wachovia Mastercard". They acknowledge knowingly and ask me to "verify" the card number "starting with the 5" thus suggesting they already know the card number. All Mastercards start with 5. I give them the fake number. They ask me to "verify" the expiration date. I give them the fake date. They ask for the customer service number on the back of the card. I give them Wahovia's number. They put me on hold for five minutes to call up Wachovia and negotiate me a lower rate.

"Wachovia says it's an invalid number. Can you re-read your card number?" I re-read the same number. They put me on hold again for several minutes. This repeats again. I reassure them that card is valid, that I just used it an hour or so ago, etc. They try again. They get a supervisor. He tries. It keeps coming back invalid. I waste forty five minutes of at least two people's time. Finally, as they apologize for not being able to help me, I calmly explain my ruse. What followed was a string of obscenities that even made my dog gag, followed by them abruptly hanging up.

And they haven't called me since.

more than 6 years ago

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Journals

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The G-String

k4_pacific k4_pacific writes  |  more than 10 years ago

A friend of mine is a music teacher. In one of the beginner classes, he was explaining the different strings on a guitar.

"This here is the G-String."

A kid pipes up, "Wow, I thought the G-String was just a myth."

"No son, you're thinking of something else"

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American FUD

k4_pacific k4_pacific writes  |  more than 10 years ago

To the tune of Don McLean's American Pie.

A long long time ago, I can still remember
How Unix used to be so great
Tape drives were as big as cars
For saving files, known as tars
And perhaps, we could save it from its fate

But Richard Stallman surely shivered
When Windows NT was delivered
With icons on the desktop
And a flying toaster backdrop

But I can't remember if I cried
Such great relief I felt inside
We had IBM on our side
The day Caldera died

*Bye Bye Mr. Darl McBride
Claimed there's Unix in our Linux
But we know that you lied.
And them Redmond boys are cursing Samba and WINE
Thinking this'll be the way that they die
This'll be the way that they die.

Did you use the kernel source?
Well the GPL you can't enforce.
Just because I said it is so
We'll sue you if you don't desist
Its not a slap across the wrist
and that's the FUD that's coming out of SCO

Well, he belongs in a prison cell
Or in the fiery pits of hell
His name is Darl McBride
And he'll take you for a ride
His SCOsource license costs a grand
But no one's got one in his hand
We all told him to go pound sand
The day Caldera died, we were singin'

repeat *

Didio came to spread the FUD
And SCO was after Linus's blood
But that's not how its going to be
Cuz PJ came and did her blog
And Darl I'm sure, that dirty dog
Reads it all, quite religiously

In Las Vegas back in August
SCO tried hard, tried with earnest
To prove Linux wasn't free
But they showed us BSD
We all laughed and we all reeled
When we observed what they'd revealed
So now they keep their claims all sealed
The day Caldera died, we were singin'

repeat *

Then they released some header files
And that left them on the tiles
Cause the files contained not a line of code
You can't lay claim to 123
Its just a number you can see
That simply tells the program how to load

It's public knowledge, for all to know
That's what was told by us to SCO
But did those fools believe it?
They just could not conceive it.
We own Unix and all the works
All its traits and all its quirks
And then they called us stupid jerks
The day Caldera died, we were singing

repeat *

And now they're suing Novell too.
They'll sue me and they'll sue you
They're saying this in every place
They are fighting against our IBM
And fighting the owners of RPM
they don't have a solid case

It's gonna bust its gonna break
Investor's money they plan to take
stock won't be worth a dime
And it will be a crime
Insider trading we'll all cry
Linux was just their alibi
Darl and Kevin the feds will try
the day Caldera died, we're a singin'

repeat *

When times were dark and things were glum
Darl had Linux by the thumb
Someone had to save the day
But like an episode of Scooby Doo
PJ and friends all came through
And Linux is here to stay

But back in Utah, so it seemed
SCO did cry, and then they screamed
They couldn't match a token
No copyrights were broken
And the OS I admire most
Is free to all, from coast to coast
And SCO is but a distant ghost
The day Caldera died, and we were singin'

repeat *

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The Dot Com Boom (Those were the days)

k4_pacific k4_pacific writes  |  more than 10 years ago

Boy the way Steve Ballmer said,
Unix now is finally dead,
Windows was king they all said
those were the days.
Didn't need no business plan
so said the investor man
And now the stocks are in the can
Those were the days.
We all ran Windows 98
Blue screens that we had to hate
Gee our Packard Bell ran great
Those were the days
Everyone had a website then
And posted pictures of their kin
Mr. we can use a man like Linus Torvalds again
Those were the days!

Linux was coded in front of a live studio audience.

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