PLA Issue #6: Totally Free Cash In The Mail From AT&T!

Written by RedBoxChiliPepper on February 23, 1993. Last Revision On December 27, 1994

Are you jobless? Need a little extra cash for the weekend? Have a girlfriend
that spends all of your money? Well, AT&T operators are always more than
happy to mail you a check or two for a good five bucks each. If you’ve ever
called up the operator and tried to convince her that you lost your quarter
then you know that they hardly ever put the call through for you. They’ll
always send you a check in the mail for 25 cents.

Well, this method also works on long distance and international calls just
as well. A long distance call can run you up to $2.75 and I think the most
expensive international call I’ve found is $9.65. If you tell the operator
you lost all this money, she’ll happily refund your money. Here’s how the
conversation usually goes with me:

You go to a pay phone. It HAS to be a pay phone, they’re not THAT stupid.
I dial the numbers 102880 which gives me the AT&T operator. (For those of
you with short memories, dial 10ATT0.)

THEM: “AT&T, this is Mrs. Papshmeer, how may I help you?”
YOU: “Yeah, I was making an international call using my spare pocket change
that I stole by breaking open a Pepsi machine on 86th Street and the
phone went dead and kept all my money. Could you try the call for me?”
THEM: “I’m really sorry about that, sir. Our policy won’t let me put the
call through for you but I can refund the money to you in the mail.”
YOU: “Okay, I guess I can do that, then.”
THEM: “Alright how much money did you lose?”
YOU: “Um…$5.65.”
THEM: “What happened when you placed this call?”
YOU: “Well, I dialed the number and the operator had me deposit $3.00 of my
money. Then my party answered and she had me deposit the other $2.65.
As soon as I put in the rest of my money the phone went completely
THEM: “Alright, what number were you dialing?”
YOU: “Country code 61, city code 2 and the number was 667-3603.”
THEM: “Okay, I need your name, address and zip code.”
YOU: “(I give her my name address and zip code.)”
THEM: “We’ll have that to you in the mail in about two weeks. Sorry about
your trouble.”
YOU: “Thank you. You have a hell of a day now!”

We hang up. About two weeks later I recieve a letter from AT&T’s office in
Jacksonville, Florida with a letter of apology and a check for $5.65.
Simple as that. Of course, I usually do 2 to 3 calls a week so my checks add
up to about $10 to $15 a week.

Some Important Notes

First of all, you HAVE to know how much your international call is going to
cost. If you give them a wrong amount you’re in for some extra hassel and
they sometimes won’t give you your refund.

Also, I described in the conversation AT&T’s method of completing an
international call using coins and this is how it’s always done. If you don’t
know how a call is made, the operator will know something’s fishy. The phone
will only hold $3.00 at a time.

Third, you don’t want to keep using the same international numbers over and
over again. Call me crazy, but I just don’t think it’s a good idea. Below,
I’ll tell how to do all this:

The (Dramatic Pause…) Letter I Got

For awhile in Indianapolis, Indiana I was doing pretty well with AT&T cash. I
was actually considering it my second source of income because I was pulling
in around $70 a week with it. Then in October of 1993 I got a letter from
AT&T which read:

Dear (My real name):

Our records indicate a large number of coin refund requests. In light of this
history, we cannot provide a refund until AT&T investigates and verifies this
claim. As part of this investigation, please provide us with the written
detail of the call and circumstances in which you lost your money. Please mail
your explanation to:

Coin Refund Investigation Unit

P. O. Box 561615

Charlotte, NC 28256-1615

It’s been over a year now and I never really heard from them again. Their
“investigation” probably consisted of sitting on their asses and waiting for
my reply. Of course I didn’t send them one and since then I’ve moved out of
state and continue to recieve a moderate amount of AT&T money.

Diverting Addresses

After the AT&T Letter incident, I aquired a check cashing card at the super-
market under a false name and then sent in a post office “Change Of Address”
card to Baton Rouge and diverted the mail at a certain address under my fake
name to my post office box in Indianapolis. When AT&T asked for the address
to send the check to, I gave them the address in Baton Rouge and it was
forwarded to me in Indianapolis. So I still got my AT&T cash. They just didn’t
know it.

Getting An International Number

If you’re not the type of person who does a lot of international dialing, you may
not have alot of overseas numbers lying around the house.
You can get a number a few ways. One is to look in the front of your phone
book and find the page on completing international calls. All the major
country and city codes are in there. You can just make up a number of random
using a country and city code and then a bunch of numbers. Keep in mind,
though, that foriegn countries numbers aren’t all 7 digits like ours are.

Look up Airlines in your yellow pages. Call the 800 number for any airline you want and say you want a time table for Egypt or any country you choose.
They’ll take your name & address and send you some useless flight schedule
junk. Somewhere in this little booklet is a whole page of international
numbers. Use them, one by one…

Call up a phone book ordering office like Ameritech or Dontech and order a
phone book from a far away place like Australia or Belgium. You can have them
send you a bill with it which you will ignore or you can charge it to
somebody else’s phone number. Never give them your real name or phone number
unless you actually want to pay for it. (You honest person, you…)

The last way is to choose from the below list that I have provided for you.
The first few numbers are the country code, second numbers are the city code
and the last few are the phone number. Use these to start your new hobby.

  London, England 44 071 633-9293       Paris, France 33 1 4359-0034
  Frankfort, Germany 49 69 291-001      Nice, France 33 93 82-5284
  Barcelona, Spain 34 3 318-8443        Madrid, Spain 34 1 559-5620
  Rome, Italy 39 6 321-0822             Stockholm, Sweden 46 8 113613
  Tel Aviv, Israel 972 3 528-9660       Zurich, Switzerland 41 1 261-1800
  Brussels, Belgium 32 2 640-1900       Bangkok, Thailand 66 2 231-0113

Finding Out How Much Your Call Costs

Let’s say that you picked a number in England. The country code is 44 and the
city code is 462 which is Letchworth Hertz. The phone number is 682-734. Go
to your pay fone and dial: 011-44-462-682-734.

An operator will come on and ask how you’re paying for your call. Tell her
with coins. (Or, to piss her off, nickels.) She’ll tell you your call will
come to $4.65 for the first minute. That’s all you need out of her so tell
her to go to hell and hang up. You now know that your call is worth $4.65
and that’s how much you tell the AT&T operator for your refund.

How They Complete International Calls

So let’s say that you were really going to make that call. She would tell you
the call costs $4.65 and for you to deposit $3.00 now. You put in three
bucks worth of quarters and you hear the phone start ringing over there in

As soon as the dude in England answers, the
operator says to him, “This is AT&T, I have an international call. Please
hold…” Then she tells you to put in the other $1.65. After you do that,
she gets off the line and you’re connected to England for a whole three
minutes until a recording pops back up on the line and asks you for four
more bucks.

The reason you put the three in first is because the phone can only handle
three bucks at a time. The refund operator knows this and tries to throw
you off by asking what happened when you tried to complete your call. NOW
you know what to tell her.

I guess that’s about all you need to know to get lots and lots of money from
AT&T. Since the amount of the check is so small you can usually convince
the bank or a supermarket to cash it for you with no I.D. so sometimes you
don’t even have to use your real name on the check. I always do, though.
Hope you find this as helpful as I do when I’m real low on cash. If nothing,
it should piss your parents off.


07/12/05 – jim popovich from youngstown ohio: i spent 20.00 in a payed phone booth and never got the call i was trying for.

05/10/05 – michael perreault from british columbia: i want to try this

07/06/04 – the portapotty burner from a portapotty: you can get some trick money! want some trick money?

05/08/04 – Hahukum Konn from Canada: I wonder if this still works for Canadian telcos?

04/20/04 – paul he bi from aus: cheating the system, make your cheap money, but you didnt work hard for it

04/09/04 – Pat from Houston, Texas: Hmm…. Interesting. I would probably not have the guts to do it, though

03/12/04 – Willy from Nowhere: Easy marijuana money

02/15/04 – Matt from Palatine, Illinois: This really works! i made About 50 bucks last year off of it!

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3 thoughts on “PLA Issue #6: Totally Free Cash In The Mail From AT&T!

  • December 23, 2010 at 5:32 am

    It’s funny-that +6126673603 was my old phone number while I was living in the city centre of Sydney, Australia.

  • November 29, 2015 at 2:01 am

    @mubd, funnily enough, that’s the combination on my luggage.

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