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Pacific Bell warns against calling card theft

SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--To prevent fraud
and protect customers, Pacific Bell is encouraging consumers to be
careful when using their calling cards at public pay phones during
holiday travel. Some criminals who want to steal calling card numbers
wait in public places such as airports, bus terminals, malls,
restaurants and hotel lobbies.

There are several ways to get calling card numbers. The most
common is called "shoulder surfing," when a perpetrator looks over the
shoulder of a customer entering a calling card number and PIN at a
public telephone. The stolen numbers then are sold to anyone wishing
to make free calls or sell calls to others. In some cases, thousands
of dollars in charges have been run up in just a few hours.

This is an ongoing problem throughout the year, but Pacific Bell
wants customers to be particularly aware during the holiday, when busy
consumers use their calling cards more often.

Tips to avoid calling card number theft:

-- Block the view of the telephone keypad when you're dialing.

-- When giving your number to the operator, keep your back to the
public and speak directly into the phone.

-- When possible, use a phone that reads your card automatically.

-- Memorize your calling card and PIN number.

-- Change your PIN number to something that is easily remembered.

-- Destroy any documentation with PIN information on it to deter
people who may go through trash.

-- If you suspect that your calling card has been lost, stolen,
or otherwise compromised, report it immediately to your card
provider.


Run dates: 2000-12-18 - 2001-01-01
 


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