The Yippies have done it again—snatched the new long distance credit card codes almost as soon as Ma Bell put them out.
The publication of the secret codes has been an annual event in the Fifth Estate as a small way the captive customers of profit-swollen Bell can even the score a bit. Since 1976 the Michigan Public Service Commission has caved into several Bell requests for multi-million dollar rate hikes and the upping of pay-phone calls to 20 cents—both unnecessary other than to fatten the company’s profit margins.
All the while Bell has cooperated with innumerable federal and local police agencies in the installation of thousands of illegal wire taps to the extent that their costs in that area far exceed all of its losses from long distance cheating. Further relying on the state, Bell has initiated numerous prosecutions against individuals and publications (including an unsuccessful one against this paper in August 1975) in an attempt to enforce its government protected monopoly over telecommunications.
Long Distance Dialing Made Easy (& Free)
For you rookies, the procedure for making credit card calls is simple, but does require a knowledge of the basics.
To begin with just dial the operator and make like a distinguished businessperson, saying, “This is a credit card call: my number is 226-4469-083-J and I’d like to call San Francisco at 415/255-6262.” The operator puts you through and you’re in business. (You might also be in trouble since the above credit card number is that of the Detroit office of the CIA. Also, remember that the phone number you are dialing from automatically appears on a computer screen in front of the operator, so choose your dialing point with care.)
Here’s the way it works: credit card codes consist of ten digits and a letter at the end that matches the seventh digit. The first seven numbers are the phone number of the corporation that the call is being billed to and the last three are a city code (Revenue Account Code—RAO). The letter at the end corresponds to the seventh digit (the same as in 1977) in the following manner: 1-Q, 2-E, 3-M, 4-A, 5-H, 6-X, 7-F, 8-T, 9-J, 0-R.
Thus if you desire to bill a call to the Honeywell Corporation of Minneapolis, their number is 941-5430. Add this to the RAO code which is 126; then add the letter code—in this case it’s R. Result: 941-5430-126-R. Here’s another one: The Detroit News number is 222-2332; add the Detroit RAO, 083, and the 1978 letter code E and you have 222-2332-083-E.
Related: Calling Long Distance on Ma Bell by A. Shady Character, FE# 280, February 1977.
Ma Bell Busts Capt. Crunch
Philadelphia (ZNS)—An electronic wizard who is better known as “Captain Crunch” has been busted again. Pennsylvania State Police, along with Bell Telephone security officers, raided Draper’s home in Canadenis, Penn, recently, and arrested him and one other man on charges of “stealing service from the phone company.”
This marks the third time that Draper, who has been dubbed “The King of the phone phreaks,” has been busted. Draper originally got his “Captain Crunch” nickname from the fact that he reportedly began his phreaking career using whistles that were given away inside Captain Crunch cereal boxes. Draper reportedly blew whistles to manipulate the tones on phone lines and make long-distance calls for free.
Witnesses to the Pennsylvania arrest report that police suddenly converged on the Draper home in a caravan of cars and in a helicopter. Also seized in the raid was a remote computer terminal that Draper had nicknamed “Charlie.”
Prior to going to prison on phone phreaking charges two years ago, Captain Crunch called a press conference and announced he had discovered a way to wiretap every office in the land—including the Oval Office of the White House and FBI headquarters—simply by using the existing telephone system.
Draper’s bail has been set at $20,000.