PLA Issue #19: Fun With Call Forwarding

Written by RedBoxChiliPepper on Jnauary 15, 1995. Last Revision on February 2, 1995

Ever think of the extreme fun you can have by being able to answer your next door neighbor’s phone just as if it were your own? Well, now not only can you answer the next door neighbor’s phone, you can answer anyone’s phone in the entire United States. Any person, any business. You’ll be using the phone company’s call forwarding service.

Not only can you use call forwarding just to answer their phone and mess with people’s minds, you can also:

  • Forward their calls to an AT&T Alliance Teleconferencing number so you and
    your friends can enjoy hours of free conferencing at their expense.
  • Forward all their calls to a number in Australia to run up their phone bill
    really high.
  • Forward their calls to you to beat the Western Union security and wire
    yourself $2000

Ordering Call Forwarding

It’s easy to do, you simply call up the local phone company billing office and
tell them you want call forwarding on your (your victim’s) line. They’ll set it
up for you and sometimes charge $15.oo or so to hook it up but that’s not your

They’ll tell you what day it’ll go into effect and explain to you how to use
it and everything. The code used for forwarding will either be 72# or *72. At
least that’s how it’s always been for me.

Using Call Forwarding Legally

Let’s say that we were going to use call forwarding legitimately. You call the
phone company billing office and ask them for call forwarding. After it goes
into effect, you decide that you want to forward all your calls to your friend
a few blocks away because you’re going over there to get drunk. You pick up
your phone and dial “72#” which gives you a second dial tone. Then you dial
your friend’s house “428-9204” and he answers the phone. You say, “Yo, Adrian,
I’m commin’ over with the Busch and I forwarded my calls to your house.” and
he says, “Dude. Cool. Okay.” and you both hang up. Now everyone that calls your
house is going to get his house instead.

What if his line is busy or there’s no answer because Adrian’s out in the back
yard setting things on fire? Hang up the phone and pick it up again. Dial “72#”
and “428-9204” again. You’ll get a dial tone and you hang up. Your calls are
now all forwarded to his house.

Getting The Number Forwarded

The thing about forwarding other people’s calls is that you can’t be in their
house to do all this unless you’re a breaking and entering type of person which
I try not to be. My solution to that is to call them up and bullshit them a
little bit and talk them into dialing the numbers for me. It’s pretty easy.
Most people aren’t familiar with call forwarding and even those that are fall
for it.

HIM: Hello?
YOU: Hi, is this Rob Berry?
HIM: Yes?
YOU: Hi, this is Larry with Southwestern Bell repair. Have you been having some
problems with your phone line lately? You know, dialing out, receiving
strange phone calls, the phone getting up and dancing around on the desk,
that kind of thing?
HIM: Uh, no, uh…well, not that I’m aware of.
YOU: Well, we’ve been checking on your lines because our computers show that
you’ve been having problems dialing out from your house.

At this point you just keep bullshitting him for a few seconds but don’t draw
it out too long. (The longer you talk, the better chance you have at making a
mistake and making him skeptical of you.) End your conversation like this.

YOU: Sir, would you mind calling up our residential office here in St. Louis
so the repair center can run a test for you on your line and tell you if
there’s still a problem? This will save you the cost of having to have a
truck sent out to your house.
HIM: Sure, I can do that. (Anything to save a buck…Cheapskate.)
YOU: I’m going to give you the number here for the office in Wood River…Have
you got a pen? …Okay, dial 72 Pound sign…254-9723. Got that?
HIM: 72#-254-9723?
YOU: Yeah, be sure to dial the 72# first so we’ll be able to run the test on
your line. That way, they’ll be able to tell you at the office if your
line’s doing okay.
HIM: Alright, well, I’ll give them a call.
YOU: Okay, you’ll probably want to call right away because the office will be
closing any time now.

You now exchange hearty farewells with this good man and hang up, eagerly
awaiting his phone call back to you. Note that 254-9723 is the pay phone at
the donut shop where you’re standing. As soon as he calls you, all his calls
will automatically be forwarded to this pay phone. If someone wants to use the
phone while you’re waiting for him to call, tell them to fuck off and that
there’s a phone over at Wal-Greens they can use. Watch their stunned face.
(Either that or they’ll beat the shit outof you!)

Your eyes light up as your pay phone rings. You answer in a totally different
voice. (Or you have your friend answer if you have any friends.)

YOU: Residential repair, Wood River. May I help you?
HIM: (Explains this situation to you about this myterious problem on his line
that he knows nothing about.)
YOU: Okay, could I have your area code and phone number, please?
HIM: 618-692-9717
YOU: Okay, um….alright did you dial the code 72# before you called me.
HIM: Yes, I did. I’m very gullible.
YOU: Okay, let me check this out……(Mutter to yourself, pretend to type,
pretend that you’re wearing an expensive suit) Okay, I’m showing that we
had some problems on your line but they all seem to have been taken care
of yesterday morning. You shouldn’t have anymore trouble there.

Like I said, you don’t have to be at the pay phone. But remember, if nobody
answers the pay phone that he’s trying to call, it won’t work unless he hangs
up and tries again so if you’re not there, say something to him like, “If
there’s no answer on the first try, just hang up and try again.” Here’s the
plot I usually use to trick 7-Elevens and similar stores.

YOU: “Hi, this is Bob from the Visa Credit Card Company. We didn’t get your
batch reports from the computer tonight, is there some kind of problem
HIM: “Uhhhhhhhhhh……..what?
YOU: (Try to speak on a third-grade level and make him understand.) “Your
computer was supposed to call us and send us your daily reports for your
credit card machine there. We haven’t got the reports today.”
HIM: “Oh………So what do you want?”
YOU: “Has your manager showed you how to send them in manually?”
HIM: “No.”
YOU: “Okay, can you get a piece of paper and a pen so I can give you a
number to write down?”
HIM: “Alright, hold on…” (Meanwhile, he’s looking for a pen and lighting
another Marlboro cigarette.) “…Okay, here’s one.”
YOU: “Okay, write down this number…72#-254_9723” (Be sure to speak
slowly so he’ll understand.)
HIM: “So I just dial this number?”
YOU: “Yeah, just dial that number and we’ll get our reports. Be sure to do it
right away so I can get done here and go home. And if it’s busy, try it
again and it should go through.”
HIM: “Uhhhhhhhh….okay.”

Hang up with him and wait for his call at the pay phone you’re standing at.
When it rings, answer, “Visa Batch Report Dudes. Is this Mr. Gullible Night
Man?” or some other real-sounding greeting. Be sensitive to the night man’s
feelings and get rid of him as quickly as possible. After you hang up, all
7-Eleven’s calls are forwarded to your pay phone and will be until the manager
of the store finally figures out what is going on. (In other words, next year.)

Beige Boxing

If your victim is just too damn smart and won’t fall for your phone company
schemes, your only choice is to do it yourself by plugging in your own telephone
into the box on the outside of his house.

It’s best to wait until really late at night when your victim is asleep. Visit
his house first in the day time to case the joint, looking for the best places
to hide, escape routes, etc, just in case somebody sees you and you have to
haul ass. Also find out where his little phone box is on his house.

Bring your own telephone, a flathead screwdriver and a flashlight. Most houses
have the new boxes where you simply open the box with the flathead screwdriver
and plug your modular phone right it. If it’s an older box you’re going to have
to chop the modular plug off your phone and replace it with some roach clips
that you can clip into his line.

When you get into his line, try dialing an ANI number first to make sure that
it’s really his number. After you’re sure, dial 72# and the number you want to
forward his calls to. Close the box and go home!

Remote Access Call Forwarding

I experimented with this feature in Indiana and it came in really handy. It
works the exact same way except you don’t have to forward the calls from their
house, instead you can do it from any phone in the world. When you order Remote
Call Forwarding from the billing office, the operator will give you the Remote
Access Number and a personal pin number which you use to change the forwarding

For some reason, the phone companies don’t think that it’s a bad idea to just
hand out pin numbers over the phone. So you call the Remote Access Number and
it guides you through the system and asks you where you’d like your calls
forwarded to. You’re allowed to enter any area code and number. I still haven’t found any areas that allowed me to remote forward their numbers to Alliance numbers or overseas but I’ve found several that let me forward to 900 numbers. One thing you have to be sure of is that they don’t have a 900 block on their line. You can call and remove that yourself.

So you’re limited a little bit here, but it’s still nicer to have and you can
turn it off when they get home so they won’t notice anything funny until the
end of the month when they get their phone bill. (Unless you’ve forwarded
their bill somewhere else.)

So call the billing office and ask them if they offer the remote call
forwarding service. Another service to look for is Call Forwarding Busy. This
service forwards your calls only when your line is busy.

Miscellanous Notes

When you forward someone’s number and somebody calls that number, the person
will hear a quick half-ring on their phone and then the call will be forwarded
to wherever. This is to let them know that their calls are forwarded but
usually only drives the owner of the phone crazy because they think someone is
just calling them and hanging up.

To put their calls back to normal, you’d have to dial 73# (or *73) from their
house or on the Remote Access Number. You can’t call them and bullshit them
into doing it because when you call them, you’ll be reaching wherever you
forwarded their calls.

People who find all their calls forwarded and somebody fucking with the people
that call them usually don’t seem to be too terribly happy when they get the
phone bill. I can’t figure out why.

Alliance Teleconferencing

You can also use the forwarding trick and forward all of someone’s phone calls
to an AT&T Alliance number. These numbers offer teleconferencing for up to
fifteen of your friends and the person who’s phone you’ve forwarded get’s
stuck with the bill. Keep in mind, though, that when the person get’s their
phone bill, every number you dialed in Alliance is going to show up on the

I have a very small list of Alliance numbers here. They all basically do the
same thing and I’ve heard that different locations have different options and
features, but you use them all pretty much the same way.

0-700-456-1000 Finds an open service to use.
0-700-456-1001 Reno, NY
0-700-456-1002 Chicago, IL
0-700-456-1003 White Plains, NY
0-700-456-1004 Dallas, TX

It doesn’t really matter which one you want to use. I’ve always stuck with the
Chicago number because it’s the closest to me and it never seems to be busy.
When you call to get your victim to forward his calls, you have to make sure
he goes through the AT&T carrier so if he’s not an AT&T subscriber, the number
you would have him dial would be: 72#-10288-0-700-456-1002. To use the service
after that, just call up your victim’s house. You’ll be connected to Alliance
and he’ll get the bill for it next month.

Once you’ve connected to the number, you’ll hear a mind-piercing beep noise.
An automated voice will ask you how many people you wish to have on the
conference. On Chicago, 15 people is the max. If you ask for more than 15
people, the automated voice refers you to a different number.

The automated voice will tell you to dial your first number. Dial it in the
fashion “1-xxx-xxx-xxxx” and you’ll hear it ringing. After they answer, tell
them what’s going on and press the “#” key to add them to the conference.

That person will now be on a silent line since he’s the first person you
called. If you need to talk to him press “#” to go into the conference. To
get back to the menu, press “#” again.

To add more people just repeat the same process over and over. After they
answer the phone, press “#” to send them into the conference. When you want
to stop adding people and join the conference yourself, press “#”. To add
more people, press “#” again. If the number you dial is busy, a wrong number,
no answer or they don’t want to talk on the conference, press “*” to
disconnect them.

Fun Things To Do In Alliance

If the phone you’re calling from has 3-way calling on it, you can do the
forwarding trick twice, call up two seperate Alliance numbers and you’ll be
able to have 30 people on at once instead of just 15. Believe me, though, 15
people is enough.

Call up Domino’s Pizza or Pizza Hut. Have everyone join in and try to order a
pizza all at once. Have everyone argue about the toppings, size and where it’s
to be sent to. The pizza man usually get flustered and just hangs up but it’s
good for a few laughs.

Call The White House and mess with them for awhile. Remember, if they trace
the call, they’ll only trace it to 7-Eleven or wherever you forwarded the
calls from. You’ll probably read in the paper the next morning about a clerk
being arrested for espionage.

Dial numbers out of the phone book at random and just fuck with people.
Harrassing phone calls can be so much more fun when there’s 15 people on the
line. Remember, though, after you’ve added someone to the conference, there is
no way you can get rid of them unless they hang up their phone. So if you make
a prank phone call to someone, remember, they can stay on and listen in as
long as they want.

The only way to throw them off is to hang up your phone and start all over or
you can hit “#” and “0” to get an operator to kick them off. A way to avoid
this, though, is have someone on the conference dial the victim’s phone number
on their 3-way calling rather than going through Alliance or use your own
3-way calling. Then you can hang up whenever you want to.

Dial a lot of overseas numbers and see who you can reach. You’ll wake up alot
of people who are always startled to hear 15 people on their phone at once.

Add someone to the conference and ignore them. Make them think that none of
you can hear them saying, “Hello? Helloooo? Who is this? Hello?”

Dial a number at random and when they answer, have everyone join in a chorus
of “Crazy Train” by Ozzy Osbourne or any popular song and see if the person
you called will join in with you. For best results try the theme song to
“The Flintstones” or “The Brady Bunch”.

Call about apartments for rent and tell them that all 15 of you are moving in.

Pretend to be trapped in a phone booth with all these people.

Miscellaneous Fun Calls

Here’s a few ideas for you when you forward someone’s number. These ideas are
both from experience and just things I’ve been wanting to do for a long time.
You know that annoying recording you get when you call a movie theater? On a
Friday or Saturday evening, forward all the calls going to that recording line
to your pay phone so when people call the recording to find out what’s showing,
they get you instead. This is probably the funnest thing to do with call
forwarding. On weekend nights, the recording line is ringing off the hook.
After you’ve forwarded the Quad Cinema’s line, pick one of these greetings when
you answer the phone…

1 “Quad Cinema, what the FUCK DO YOU WANT CALLING HERE!?”
2 “Quad Cinema, this had better be good. I’m busy.”
3 “Quad Cinema, whadaya need?
4 “I suppose you’re wanting to know what movies are playin’?”
5 “Thank you so much for calling the Quad Cinema on this beautiful,
extraordinary Tuesday evening, this is Bob speaking how may I be
of assisstance, oh mighty, faithful, godlike potential patron of
my establishment.”

Here are some answers to commonly asked questions…

T:”Are you open tonight?”
U:”Are we open tonight? That’s probably the stupidest question I’ve ever heard.
It’s Friday night of COURSE we’re open. You think I just sit here all night
answering the phone for dumbfucks like you while we’re closed?”

T:”What movies are playing there?”
U:”What, you don’t own a paper? Can’t you go out and BUY a newspaper to find
out what’s playing? Why don’t you go next door and borrow your neighbor’s
paper? Maybe you could have called the recording line instead of calling me?”

T:”Do you have senior citizens discounts?”
U:”How old are you?…68?…Geez, lady, you’re OLD. You have one foot in the
grave, don’t ya? Actually, you sound older than 68. I’d guess 93 by the
sound of your voice. Why do you want a senior discount? Are you on welfare
and can’t afford the extra two bucks admission or what? Or maybe you’re
savin’ up for plastic surgery to get rid of those disgusting wrinkles all
over your body.”

T:”What rating is that movie?”
U:”It’s rated NC-8. You have to be at least eight years old to see it because
it has lots of nudity and violence in it.”

Tired of being a rude person? Try being a stupid person instead. This pisses
people off even more than when you’re rude.

T:”Yeah, what’s playing there tonight?”
U:”I dunno.”
T:”Isn’t this the movie theater?”
T:”So what movies do you have.”
U:”Oh, you know…that one cop movie with the guy in it and that girl…”
T:”What are the prices of your tickets?”
U:”Beats me, you’re askin’ the wrong person.”
T:”Is there someone there who can tell me?”
U:”Naw, I’m the only one here right now, they’re all busy. I just come here on
Friday and Saturday nights to answer the phone so the ticket lady doesn’t
have to.”
T:”Don’t you have a list or something there of what’s playing?”
U:”Yeah, I got one at home but I forgot bring it with me tonight. You can call
tomorrow and I’ll probably have it. You can’t expect me to memorize all that
T:”Could I speak to your manager?”
U:”He’s workin’ concession right now. If you wanna hold for about 20 minutes I
can go fetch him.”

Okay, now try being polite and giving off the wall, incorrect information.
What really throws people off is when you tell them you’re showing a sneak
preview of a movie that doesn’t exist that they’ll really want to see like,
“Home Alone 5″ or”Silence Of The Lambs 2” or “Terminator 3.” I can just picture
the little girl’s disappointment when she arrives at the theater all happy and
then finds out that there really isn’t a “Home Alone 3.” Poor kid.

And then there’s movies that have strange names that don’t exist like, “Home
Alone 3: Lost in Wazoo Coounty, Alabama” or “Bill & Ted’s Homosexual Adventure
(ratedXXX)” or perhaps “Snail.” You know, that new documentary movie on the
mating habits of Snails. A great movie for children to see.

T:”What’s playing tonight?”
U:”Oh, I’m sorry, we had to close the theater down.”
T:”Close it down?”
U:”Yeah, it was demolished by mistake. They were supposed to knock down the
building next door but they accidentally got the adresses mixed up and tore
down the theater instead. We were all devistated.”

T:”What’s showing tonight?”
U:”We have Debbie Does Des Moines and Backdoor Bonanza part III.”
T:”Aren’t those pornos?”
U:”Well, yeah, of course. Didn’t you hear about the hostile takeover? We’re
strictly a porno theater now but we WILL let your children in as long as
you accompany them in inside. You know, we still want to promote that
family image.”

Lemme tell ya, the customers’ reactions are hilarious when you treat them this
way. You might want to lug a video camera to the theater’s lobby and tape all
the angry people who drive there to yell at the manager. Here’s a few ideas
for forwarding a pizza place.

1 “Domino’s Pizza, would you like to try our special tonight, Froot Loop
Pizza? If you order two of them you get a free 2 liter of milk!”

2 “(Sing the lastest pizza jingle.)”

3 “Hello?….Huh?….Who is this, I was sleeping. It’s almost 8:30, you know!
Listen here, punk. I HAVE fucking CALLER I.D. and I’ll KILL you if you
call me again!!!”

U:”Domino’s, may I help you?”
T:”Yeah, I’d like a large mushroom pizza.”
U:”Oh, we’re out of pizzas tonight, sir.”
T:”Out of pizzas?”
U:”Yes, sir. We can still deliver you a Pepsi, though. Would you like a Pepsi
tonight? We’re having a special.”

U:”UPS, may I help you?”
T:”I thought this was Pizza Hut.”
U:”Oh, it is, but we had a hostile takeover last week by the United Parcel
Service so I have to answer the phone, ‘UPS’ now.”
T:”You were bought out by UPS?”
U:”Yes, but we still offer the same quality service as ever and we deliver our
pizzas in big, brown UPS trucks for fast, dependable service you can count


02/22/06 – Jon from your mom: interesting, i didn’t even realize how old it was until the movie section
Reply from webmaster: I actually have some old recordings of us claiming that there’s a Home Alone 3, before it had been made. And an excited kid exclaiming, “Home Alone THREE??” I am a bad man.

02/11/06 – Bill from Ohio: I’m glad I read this. I was wondering how you did most of those prank calls.

01/26/06 – mE from mArs: been almost a year since a comment thought it was time

03/29/05 – aperson from somewhere: heh, some of those movies actually do exixt now

02/13/05 – yay from : i like bacon and how does work ?

05/04/04 – Bacon Str!!ps from In a frying pan: Im the first comment…!!! You all love Bacon Str!!ps…EaT mE!

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