Dear Arby: Sudo and RBCP Thwart A Kidnapping (Special Yall Edition)

Sudo and RBCP at Defcon 19

Because of the numerous articles on about recording phone calls and figuring out who owns a number and other similar topics, I get a lot of bizarre emails from people. I originally created the page on recording phone calls for the sole purpose of recording prank phone calls, but as you can see from the comments on that page, that’s rarely what the information is used for. And last week, my latest email about identifying the owner of a phone number resulted in the following email:

To: Brad
From: Josh

hey maybe yall could help me out seriously, cps has my friends daughter that was kidnapped when she was a baby by the dad that ended up in prison, now there trying to adopt her out saying tough shit basically. i have 2 of there numbers and the area there in, but there cell phones. was wondering if possable yall could drum up an address would be very helpful thanks drop me an email if yall could help out(address for the 2 cell numbers and a house number if possable to)

These kind of messed-up emails are very common for me and I usually get at least one crazy email per month. Usually it’s from wives wanting to spy on their husbands or parents wanting to spy on their teenagers for having sex, but this is the first one that made me feel like the guy was interested in using my site to kidnap his kids. My first reaction, of course, was to be an complete asshole to the guy, so I responded with this…

To: Josh
From: Brad

When you say “now there trying to adopt her out” you should be using the contraction version of “they are” which is “they’re.” So you would actually type “Now they’re trying to adopt her out.” When in doubt on that one, it’s best to just say “Now they are trying to adopt her out” which sounds kind of robotic, but at least you don’t appear as dumb.

“I have 2 of there numbers and the area there in, but there cell phones” is also incorrect. On the first one, you should indicate possession by stating “I have 2 of their numbers” and in the second instance it’s another contraction of “they are.” The third use is also a contraction of “they are” but it seems to flow better if you just use “they are” instead of “they’re” so the full sentence should be typed as follows:

I have 2 of their numbers and the area they’re in, but they are cell phones.

I’m very glad I could help you.

I posted his email and my reply on Facebook for us all to laugh at, deleted the email and figured that would be the end of it. Unless, of course, I got a hilarious reply, which I never did. Sudo soon convinced me, though, that I should actually do something about this guy being so sketchy about needing his kid’s address. I mean, there’s gotta be a reason CPS took the parents away from the kids, right?

So Sudo emailed the guy back and said she’d be happy to help him identify the phone numbers as long as he promised that nothing illegal would happen with the information she gave him. The guy responded with two phone numbers, promising that “no1 will be harased” and that he just needed the information for his records. We were totally convinced!

Sudo immediately called up one of the numbers and had a chat with the guy who was in possession of the kids. He told her a few crazy stories about the guy who sent the emails that included hacked Facebook accounts and restraining orders and he was really happy to hear that we were looking out for him. He asked her to forward him copies of the guy’s emails for him to show to attorneys or cops or something.

After forwarding the emails to the guy and telling him how happy I was that that the kid would be raised in a home that respected the rules of basic grammar, I immediately resumed Asshole Mode again and drafted an email for Sudo to send back to the original guy with the results of our search on the phone numbers he gave us. Our lengthy reply included the address of his local police department as the physical address on both of the phone numbers. Hopefully that will result in some kind hilarity or at least a few angry emails from the guy. Keep watching this thread for updates!

To read some similar emails from crazy parents and spouses, visit this thread in the PLA Forums where you can read emails and replies. In some of them, the person’s address is included so you can even give your own helpful replies to them. Thanks for giving me a small taste of morality, Sudo! If only you’d been there for me in Christmas of ’96…

Brad Carter

I run this town.

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