Throughout my years of hanging out on voice bridges, I've heard my share of prank calls to emergency services. I do my best to talk sense into these people and try to convince users on our forums that you shouldn't do this, ever. You shouldn't prank the cops, the fire department or 911. You shouldn't make bomb threats, physical threats or hinted threats to anyone over the phone, because then the emergency services start getting involved and that's bad for everyone.
So where is the line drawn? Is it okay to prank abuse hotlines? Suicide hotlines? Drug and alcohol hotlines? In my opinion, no. Leave all of these places alone. There are so many other people and businesses out there that you can prank, so why bother with any kind of hotline service?
But then there's the Anger Management Hotline. Now that just sounds hilarious. A hotline set up for people who have anger issues. There can't be anything too illegal about calling up some anger management people and giving them a little hell. They're just asking to be pranked, right? Apparently not, as Carlito from Madhouse Radio recently found out.
Madhouse Radio is a fun prank call show to listen to. I've been a fan of it for quite some time now, and there's always plenty of entertaining bits throughout the show to keep me listening. I was surprised to see one of the more recent show descriptions, though. It read, "Historic Madhouse show, Carlitos studio gets shut down by the police hence the short length and sudden cut off. An anger management line is not amused with Carlito and Hollywood." Wow.
If you take a listen to the 12/18/2008 show you'll hear Carlito's call at about 14 minutes, 55 seconds. He calls the lady on the other end a motherfucker, a piece of trash and a stupid bitch and she somehow considers his call threatening enough to send the police to his house and he's arrested.
On the Madhouse forums, Carlito says, "I did some calls to an anger management line on Thursday night's show. The woman considered it 'Violent Calls' which they weren't and she reported us to the local PD here based on the SpoofCard caller ID (came up with my local 407 area code). During the show our phone line got intercepted and rerouted (HOW THAT IS LEGAL I HAVE NO FUCKING IDEA) to the local 911 dispatch. Based on that they were able to get my address and immediately dispatched 2 units to the house in about 15 minutes. Apparently this Anger Management line/company has some kind of special 'emergency line' status and they can get shit done."
You see that? He used SpoofCard and they were still able to do some magical rerouting wizardry with the phone lines and get his address within 15 minutes. And he didn't even threaten the lady - he simply cursed at her as a part of his shtick of needing help with his anger issues. If you think pranking "crisis" hotlines (how is anger management even a crisis??) is funny, then this should tell you that it's officially a horrible idea. Stick to spouting your nonsense at normal businesses and people.
Visit this thread on the Madhouse forums to read more of Carlito's story, about how they confiscated his computers, ranksacked his studios breaking furniture in the process, and spent a night in jail. Thankfully he was let go the next day, all the charges were dropped and his stuff returned. So it's a happy ending, but would you really want to go through all that just to make a funny call to a hotline number?
Next time someone on the bridge says, "LOL, let's prank the suicide hotline!!!" point them to this article and tell them to shut the hell up.