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Make money from Cold Callers

"Oh yes, please talk to me about double glazing..."
  (+30, -1)(+30, -1)(+30, -1)
(+30, -1)
  [vote for,


1) Register a premium rate number with a major telco (in UK could be 0898 type, or some less obvious code, even 0845 would do..)

2) Buy the Sunday Paper, and a couple of "lifestyle magazines"

3) Hold each publication by the spine, and shake liberally so that all the advertising inserts fall out

4) Fill in every single one of them, using a bogus (not yours) postal address, but including your premium rate number. Also tick the "Please pass on my details" box.

5) Stay in, and answer the phone. Talk excitedly to every cold call you get, regularly saying "Could you just hold on a minute?"

6) Repeat (5) above..

7) Collect cheques for your share of call the revenue from the Telco

8) Retire happy on the proceeds (If you can resist the temptation to replace your windows, get a conservatory, take out a loan etc etc)

Gran Tade, Jan 29 2002

British Telecom's Freefone and Lo-Call numbers http://www.bt.com/s...jcflgcefkdffndfkl.0
(Impressive URL, huh?) [angel, Jan 30 2002, last modified Oct 04 2004]

ITU link http://www.itu.int/...ersalnumbers/uiprn/
Describing the process of acquiring an universal international premium rate number (UIPRN) [spekkie, Jan 30 2002, last modified Oct 04 2004]

A much better way to deal with telemarketers http://www.sluggy.c...ily.php?date=990620
Courtesy of Pete Abrams' psychotic mini-lop [CoolerKing, Jan 31 2002, last modified Oct 04 2004]

A much better way to deal with telemarketers (part 2) http://www.sluggy.c...ily.php?date=990621
[CoolerKing, Jan 31 2002, last modified Oct 04 2004]

Another method of making money from them http://privatecitizen.com/jkcl.html
[mrthingy, May 06 2002, last modified Oct 04 2004]


       Oh yes! There's got to be a down side though. I'm guessing we just wait till someone explains why this illegal/impractical. But till someone says otherwise, Big Croissant.   

       <aside>A friend received a cold call from a double glazing sales man. The sales man asked if he needed new windows, to which my friend said: "Hang on a minute, I'll just go and check" and left the phone off the hook. Then he went to watch TV for an hour or so, before returning to tell the sales man that "no, the windows I've got seem fine". Obviously the salesman was no longer there. But it did make it impossible for the salesman to call anyone else on that line for the time my friend watched TV. </aside>
mcscotland, Jan 29 2002

       Sorry.. Forgot the international angle   

       Telco (n) (abbr): Telecommunications provider e.g. BT, AT&T, Cable and Wireless, Southwestern Bell   

       You get money for recieving calls because that's how these premium numbers work in the UK, some for the Telco, some for the "service" provider. They're normally used for, errr, smut.
Gran Tade, Jan 29 2002

       [Rods Tiger} Depends largely on the service plan, though that used to be the case with all of them.
phoenix, Jan 29 2002

       Really good idea although I think there are laws for having to announce the charge - it'd take a while before the ombudsman caught up though.   

       There was a similar scam to this run by some ex BT engineers who realised that when premium rate numbers first came in there was a loophole.   

       As most p r nos are targetted at small businesses, BT would account their share of the money monthly, so these guys set up a number of lines at one address, rented an apartment in a false name with another number of lines and continuously rang their own p r nos.   

       FIrst month they got a huge cheque, 2nd month they got a huge cheque, 3rd month they got a huge cheque and a bill for twice the total amount...... by which time they were gone.   

       BT are about as morally victimless a crime as you can get. BT now bill monthly too.
notripe, Jan 29 2002

       An 0845 number would be worse than useless. These are known as "lo-call" numbers; calls to them are charged at local rate regardless of where you're calling from. The way they work is that, if the call is actually local, the caller pays local rate (as expected), but if the caller would otherwise be paying national rate, he pays local and the callee pays the diference. You can also get a national rate number whereby the caller always pays national rate, and if he's calling locally, the callee *receives* the difference from BT. (linky-link)
angel, Jan 30 2002

       Baked. There are also international premium rate numbers. They are issued in some small island in the pacific. The advantage (I guess): 1) a strange number that the sales agent cannot recognize as a premium rate number and 2) (I hope) no message from the operator that this number is charged differently.
spekkie, Jan 30 2002

       speckie: I don't see how this bakes Gran Tade's idea though - which was to bill cold callers vast amounts of money.
mcscotland, Jan 30 2002

       This is only a scam if you hide the fact that your number is a premium rate. If you had a premium rate number and listed that in the phone directory you might not make much money (call centres are probably barred from calling premium rates) but at least it would free your line from double-glazing salesmen.   

       [quick check to see how much it costs to set up/lease a premium rate line in the UK... bt.com website so poor that I'm unable to find out without calling somebody... giving up. Gut feeling - it's probably prohibitively expensive for an individual to do this. I still like the concept, though]
st3f, Jan 30 2002

       [mcscotland] This works on the same principle. 1) The sales agent makes the call. 2) His company gets billed for the premium rate number by the local operator 3) The local operator gets billed the international premium rate service provider. 4) the international premium rate service provider splits the proceeds: one part they keep ("transport costs"), and the other part is transferred to the owner of the international premium rate number (Gran Tade).
spekkie, Jan 30 2002

       Good idea, but not nearly as lucrative as this:

Register your premium-rate number. Get a minimum wage job as a night-time office cleaner. Call your premium rate number from about 500 phones at the large office you're cleaning, leaving the handsets off all night. Repeat, every night (The office workers will come in in the morning and think "Hmm - the cleaner's left my phone off the hook", and put it back).

The large company this happened to didn't prosecute the cleaner to save their embarassment.
hippo, Jan 30 2002

       ... they let 'em off the hook.
thumbwax, Jan 30 2002

       Reading through the international documentation things are not that straightforward. See ITU link. First of all people (the double glazing sales agents) need to dial a country code. This is an advantage because the local operator will not recognise it is a servicenumber so there is no charging warning. It is also a disadvantage because the sales agent might recognize it is a foreign number. Secondly there are not many countries that have the Service Providers to request the number - perhaps it is best to use Chile. Thirdly a salesagent has to dial a 12 (!) digit number - this could raise suspicion.
spekkie, Jan 30 2002

       Reminds me of another phone scam I encountered in the US. You phone the reception of a large company posing as a telephone engineer: "Hello - we've had some problems on your line. Can you connect me with test extension 90 please?". In most places, '9' selects an outside line, and '0' allows you to then dial an international number which will be billed to the company you called.
hippo, Jan 30 2002

       [hippo] I have heard of this as well. The number when dialed gave a busy signal. So people thought it was a ordinary busy signal, while in fact it was an active (open) call to the premium rate service.
spekkie, Jan 30 2002

       [by the way] Any phone hacking is called "phreaking". Just browse the internet and you will find dozens of working scams [/by the way]
spekkie, Jan 30 2002

       [GTR] I believe that when you have a call diverted, you pay for the second phone call, so it wouldn't work.
cp, Jan 30 2002

       Alternatively, you could register your premium number, then put a sign on the back of your car along the lines of "How is my driving? Call <premium number>"   

       Then simply drive around like an arsehole.
ChewTheBeef, Jan 30 2002

       Not a busy signal - it needs to have a ringing tone. That way the caller holds on for a good while waiting for the phone to be answered, yet is already on an open line.
drew, Jan 30 2002

       an extension of ChewTheBeef's idea: Register the premium rate number and then stick that number over the one on so many trucks/lorries that are already around.
kaz, Jan 30 2002

       Rods Tiger - Don't laugh, we get charged for some incoming calls here too!!!!   

       The idea is great BTW, but many coldcallers use a phone book which would not have that number in.
ferret, May 04 2002

       so far everyone is missing one tiny tiny little detail....most businesses have their lines blocked so 900#'s cannot be called. 800#'s or long distance #'s that transfer to 900#'s are illegal anyway. plus, even if the business doesnt subscribe to 900 # blocking, a dialer system will recognize the area code and not call it, and a person manually code calling would not call a 900# because that call would be billed as made by his particular phone and wouldnt do so.
junkmail, Dec 21 2002

       There was a scam running on a bulletin board I used to run. A bb visitor would come in, leave some sick message about having an underage girl he wants to introduce to the wicked ways of men, and one of those faux international premium line phone numbers to call. He'd get calls, both from the pathetic dorks who thought it was real and wanted in on the action, and the pathetic dorks who thought it was real and called to yell and threaten. I never call an unfamiliar number without looking up the area codes first. I think this one was listed in the Bahamas or something.
stbob, Jan 27 2003

       (Idea 1) fight fire with fire - I wonder if it's possible to get a call center, based in some english speaking developing country, to screen calls.   

       (Idea 2) baked - my NOKIA is set to only take calls from people I know. I switch it into this mode when I get home from work.   

       (Idea 3) on topic - get a pay per minute number with a zero dollars per minute rate. Home marketing companies automatically screen these numbers (because they're not stupid) and every one that knows you knows it's OK.
FloridaManatee, Jul 16 2003

       Variation: Get a premium number and charge $0.00 per minute (or whatever the lowest the phone company or whatever will allow you to charge). Give it to whoever asks for it. If it has the right prefix, salesman will be scared away but friends and whatnot (who were told what it was for) will not be scared away.
aguydude, Apr 01 2004

       (aguydude) did you not just repeat (floridamanitee)'s anno?
My only problem with the idea is that you never get to collect the dough, as

       5) Stay in, talk etc.
6) Repeat 5
5) Stay in, talk etc.
6) Repeat 5
MikeOliver, Apr 01 2004

       Especially good if your lonely...
xxobot, Nov 26 2007


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