United Phone Losers
issue no. 14 - September 27, 1999
this issue edited by linear

in this issue

Here it is, the highly anticipated UPL014. An actual zine. Multiple articles, multiple writers, multiple orgasms. This first issue isn't too big, but I'm hoping that's only because this is the first actual issue we've  released that is in zine format. If you would like to submit an article for UPL015, please send it right away too linear +at+ phonelosers +dot+ net and get ready to get all the chicks, money, and power, all because your name was in UPL015! Be a part of phoneloser history, write for UPL!

Well, I hope you enjoy this new zine. It's something I really wanted to do but wasn't to sure if it would work out. I'm still having doubts, but we'll see how it goes. I appreciate all the support I have gotten lately from everyone. Many thanks to rbcp of PLA for everything. There's no way we would have made it if it wasn't for everything you've done for us, helped us out with, and work you gave us. Thanks.

--- linear

Hi there!  Rufus T. Firefly here.  When linear invited me to be a part of the multimedia circus that is the UPL, I wasn't too sure.  I mean, it is a large responsibility.  Sure, I'm a phoneloser with a thing or three to say, but I've been more or less content saying it to my dog, random people in the phone book named Roy, and that old mumbling guy uptown who trashes for soda cans so he can cash them in and ride the bus all day.

However, linear assured me that there is a whole underworld out there that could benefit in part from my ramblings, and the rest is history.  The UPL have made me feel quite welcome, and there was even a nice table set up with some tiny sandwiches and yummy cakes for me on my first day.  And later on, when they wrestled me to the ground, took a bone saw to my skull, yanked out my living brain, replaced it with a 6.5 mHz crystal, and uploaded my mind into the collective UPL conciousness, it didn't even hurt all that much. And It really is much better this way.

Enjoy the zine, we're all putting our best and worst into it.  Cactus!

--- RTF

Hi, my name is n0llid. Some of you know me, and some of you don't. But I know myself. And that's the most important thing of all. Of course, that has nothing to do with what I'm trying to say, but bear with me; I'm not very good at transferring my thoughts to a format that can be easily comprehended by the common Earth being. And since there is no credible proof of life on other planets, this introduction will inevitably end up looking sloppy and confusing.

That said, I welcome you to UPL014, the UPL issue with beef and spice, and fat. There's fat packed into every ounce of this fully loaded, multiple-author, multiple-article issue of UPL.

And that's a good thing, as UPL can use all the fat it can get. It's still pretty small, and not many people know (or care) about it. Hopefully this issue will be something other than a complete embarrassment and failure, and will be the start of a long run of extremely fatty UPL issues. Issues which your doctor forbids you from reading, lest you have a heart attack and die. Doctors don't like it when people die. But for those of us who aren't  afraid of death (or being fat and ugly), consumation of these massive issues will be yet another delightful challenge.

So read on, and pray you don't have a heart attack and die, and make your doctor mad. You wouldn't like him when he's mad. Trust me.

--- n0llid

It is I el caco. Reading UPL is good for you. It will make you grow big a strong just like us. UPL it's like sugar... and as everyone knows, "First you get the sugar, then you get the money, then you get the women." So read UPL is you like money and women. And if you don't then read it anyway. Big news is that UPL can be reached by way of www.phonelosers.net which is really cool and makes me feel all fuzzy inside. UPL is looking to get some shirts made and we are running a contest to get a really cool design. There is a website about it at http://www.nettrash.com/users/uplswag which I did all by myself. So far we've received some cool designs, but you can still submit yours until we stop accepting them. We also like to hang out on IRC at irc.2600.net in #phonelosers, so come and talk to us.

--- el caco

Wow! It is the first UPL zine, I'm so happy I just nutted in my shorts.  I hope you will like it and remember if you would like to write an acritle submit it linear and maybe you will get chicks, money and power. It is amazing, but I just hope you don't think it sucks. Thanks to RCBP and all the other people who helped us out!

--- Jc


--- Jaded

Safe & Easy Bell Truck Looting
Written by Rufus T. Firefly

Ever pass by a Bell truck where a lineman is doing some work and find yourself just staring lustfully at the array of potential phreaking tools contained within?  Ever gazed upon the Bell technicians strutting around in their super-cool telco-issued jumpsuits and hats?  Ever wondered how humble old you could get your greedy hands on some of this cool stuff?  Well, now's your chance, you daredevil you.

My personal favorite way of getting a bell truck is the patented Phoneloser® method of ordering one up.  Just like a pizza!  And with none of the calories!

What you're doing here is calling the phone company, posing as a business with phone trouble.  Flex those social engineering muscles, set up a service appointment, take down the date and time, and when the time comes, stake out the business.  When the truck shows up and the tech goes inside, claim your rewards!

To dramatically increase your chances of success at this method, first set up your appointment with the phone company, by calling the service/repair number listed in the local phone book or on the local payphones.  When choosing your target business, the best choices are large office buildings. If you're in a city, pick the tallest skyscraper around.  Shoot for one of those big-ass office complexes where nobody really knows anyone else's business.  If it is a tall multi-office building, make it a business on the highest floor possible to give yourself more time to play in the truck.  Of course, you're not making this call from your house (duh?) but don't use an outdoor payphone with cars and such going by either.  Use a quiet indoor phone, or even better beige-box a call from the business' line itself.  (Beware, though.. office phone systems have been known to fry beige boxes.)

Your dialogue should go something like "Hello, I'm Roy Felcher calling from Shlameel and Shlamozzel Incorporated.  We're having some trouble with our phone lines lately, and I want you to send one of your guys down and have a look."  They'll ask what kind of problems with the line, give them something vague like "intermittent static" or "a humming sound every so often."  Set up an appointment for as soon as possible (remember, you're a business who doesn't want to lose customers to a crappy phone connection, dammit!) but if at all possible, set it up for sometime in the afternoon.  (Take my word for it..)  Be sure to have the business' name, address, and phone number(s) at hand to give the telco.

Here's the clincher.  Call the business, and pose as the phone company. Say something along the lines of "Hi, this is [local telco] and we are getting some strange readings off your lines.  It probably doesn't affect your service yet, but we want to get this fixed as soon as possible before it escalates.  We'll be sending a technician over at.." and give them the time you made the appointment for.  This way the business will be expecting the tech, the tech will get to do his various techie things rather than get thrown out of a surprised office, and you'll have as much time as humanly possible to play in the nice truck.

Now the fun part.  When going into a job, telco techs are notorious for leaving everything unlocked so they can get to it easier.  This is why you set your appointment for the afternoon.  If you're one of the first calls of the day, the tech might not have gotten around to unlocking everything yet. So when the truck shows up, wait for the tech to go inside, and then wait a few minutes.  That gives the tech time to run back out to the truck to retrieve a tool or park somewhere else if need be.  Once you feel it's safe, nonchalantly walk up to the truck as if you own it, and hop in.

You don't know how much time you have, so make it quick as possible.  You may not want to leave a mess, so the tech might not know right away that you've been there.  Personally, though, I don't worry as they'll probably know anyway.  What you're chiefly looking for is stuff that's hard to get anywhere else, like test sets (ESPECIALLY test sets!  Those things are so useful it hurts,) those neato hex keys with the holes drilled out of them that get into payphones, any keys you find, anything wearable (hats, etc.) and of course phone company manuals.  If you're really lucky, you might find one of those little PDAs they seem to carry around these days.  Search drawers, in between the front seats (a favorite place for paperwork,) the glovebox, etc.  A little more risky are those opening compartments on the outside of the truck itself, but these can be equally rewarding (or on the other hand you can be seucure in now knowing where the gasoline goes in.)

Some final tips:  Dress in something technician-y so you won't look out of place to bystanders.  Coveralls, a denim workshirt and jeans, or whatever your local linemen wear are best.  Wear mirrorshades and a hat, as the parking lot may be on camera.  Try to scope out the camera situation beforehand.  Bring a backpack or something to put all your goodies in, of course.  Once you're in the truck, make sure all the doors are unlocked from the inside in case you need to make a hasty retreat.  Spend as little time as possible in there.  If you have a friend, it's HIGHLY recommended you have him or her stand watch nearby and keep a lookout for the tech, and keep in touch with walkie talkies.  And wear gloves, of course.

Have fun, and don't get caught!  Also don't actually do any of this as  it would be wrong and evil and not my fault.

--- Rufus T. Firefly

Prank Calling; Art Of
Written by linear

Prank calling is an art. It's a skill that some of us are born with, some of us acquire through trial and error, and some of us will never have.

Now, I know many people disagree with this statement, but I would consider prank calling a form of social engineering. You might argue that it is in no way social engineering saying that social engineering is done to get something you need or desire, traditionally specific information, and to do so without them realizing that you aren't who you say you are. Well, when a prank call is pulled off well, your victim shouldn't know that it was a prank call, and you should have gotten something you needed or desired: a humorous outcome. Perhaps it isn't exactly social engineering, but hopefully you agree that prank calling and social engineering are in the same league.

Anyway, as I have just realized that I could ramble on and on about whether or not prank calling is social engineering, I'll move on. Preparing for the call. Always have in mind what you are going to do, making a mental note of all possible directions the call might go. For example, I'll use this very old (not to mention very lame) call....

THEM:  Hello?
YOU:   Is your refrigerator running?
THEM:  Why, yes it is...
YOU:   You better catch it before it gets away!!

Well, that is the exact outcome you were hoping for. But, you have to be ready if the call takes a different direction and something like this happens...

THEM:  Hello?
YOU:   Is your refrigerator running?
THEM:  No, it isn't, hasn't been for three days. Is this Wally's Fridge
       Repair returning my call?

You must know how to react in such a situation so there isn't too much hesitation, and you can still complete the call in a professional, humorous manner. Now, of course, you can't always predict the outcome and you'll have to use your improv skills, and still complete a great prank call, it just helps to have the call sketched out in your head (note, I apologize for using that prank call as an example).

Delivery of the prank is also important. It is not often that a prank will succeed if you deliver it too fast. Work your way into the prank, make a stable foundation, then deliver the call. Example, you can't call doctor's office and start your call out like "HELP! MY LEG IS GOING TO FALL OFF!", or your call will go no where fast and you'll get a hang-up pretty quick and the humor of the call is lost. If you work the prank in to the call and drag it  out, however, then you can keep the victim on the line quite some time before they realize that you're just some phoneloser. Delivery of that call should go more like

THEM:  Dr. Robinson's office, how may I help you?
YOU:   Uhm, yea, there's something wrong with my leg...
THEM:  Okay, would you like an appointment?
YOU:   Yes, that would be great...
THEM:  Okay, can you please describe the injury?
YOU:   Yea, it's cut pretty bad, and it's bleeding a lot...
THEM:  Sir, maybe you should goto the emergency room...
YOU:   I can't.... I can't walk on my leg, oh god, I can see the bone...

And slowly work in the delivery that way... As you can see, I'm not too experienced with calling doctor's offices, so that maybe that was a bad example, but hopefully I painted a pretty good picture for you (one with fluffy little clouds and bunny rabbits!).

Keep your victim on the line as long as you can, but know when to  quit. If you keep them on too long, there is a point that it stops being funny and just gets boring. Using subtle change of topics is a good way to keep your victim on the line, and interrupting them whenever you sense them saying goodbye can often save the call from ending too fast. Just don't drag a call on for twenty minutes that's lost it's humorous value fifteen minutes ago.

Laws concerning prank calling vary from locale to locale, so it might be a good idea to research in your area, if you are worried about that type of thing. In most areas it is not illegal, but there is a fine line between a prank and harassment, which IS illegal everywhere, so be careful.

Everyone has their own style and not all of you call according what I say, and still end up with hilarious prank calls, and that's fine. I'm not saying prank calls should be done like this and only like this, I'm just trying to set a basic foundation. Most importantly, just have fun with it. Prank calling is a hobby, an art, a pastime. So yes, now that you've completed this basic course, you can tell people you are a telephonic artist.

--- linear

Undead Box
Written by Bela_Lagousi

The easiest box in the world to make!

Whate It Does
Allows you to listen to random fone calls via anolog fone systems on the radio, allowing calls to be recorded easily.

What You Need
A multiband (weather, AM, FM, TV) radio. 25 feet of copper wire. 1 foot of thin coppper pipe (optional)

How To Make It
  1. Take copper wire and strip 3 inches of each end
  2. Attach one end of wire to the loop under antenna
  3. Solder if desired
  4. Bend pipe to a hook
  5. Drill 1/8 inch hole in pipe to attach wire to
  6. Attach wire
  7. Throw hook on phone cable (watch out for electric cable)
  8. Tune radio to hear calls.

Why It Works
The call in the wire is based on electricity. The current going through the copper cables emmits a weak radio frequency. Your radio with your extended antenna picks the signal up, all you have to do is find it.  Good Luck!

--- Bela Lagousi

Scamming Blockbuster Rewards
Written by Orion

Well, I was in Blockbuster Video last night and when scanning the New Releases, I saw a little rack with miniature fliers in it that said "Get FREE Rentals!" Then, I opened it up and read it only to find by "free" they meant you had to pay $9.95 a year to get one truly free rental each month.

Now, you might be thinking "Gee, It's about 10 bucks to rent three movies anyway, this is a pretty good deal." Well, you're wrong. You can only rent movies from the "____ favorites" section. You know, where one employee has his or her favorite movies on a little rack or shelf. Now, this is where Orions fool-proof method to getting any video you want comes in.

What to Do Beforehand
A. Sign up for Blockbuster Rewards legitimately (Unless you want to break some laws..)

  1. Walk into blockbuster.
  2. Glance at all the employees nametags.*
  3. Find a favorites shelf not belonging to one of the currently working employees.
  4. Take the worst movie on that shelf off that shelf, replacing it with the one you desire to rent.
  5. Take the movie to the checkout counter, give them your Blockbuster Rewards coupon.
  6. They MAY** say "Sir, this movie isn't allowed to be rented with this coupon."
  7. You then insist that it is because it's on the "_____'s Favorites" Shelf.
  8. Walk off with your movie.

* - There's nothing more embarassing than telling Chris that the movie you're trying to rent was on his favorites shelf.

** - This may not even happen. This is completely hypothetical and I've never tried it. They may not even say anything because their computers may not contain that information.

Ritual Disclaimer For The Ignorant
I really don't expect you to try this, because you might be breaking laws. I really don't know.

--- Orion

Hasting's Entertainment
Written by Bela_Lagousi

HASTINGS Entertainmnt storesare appearing everywhere and though there  video selection may  suck they make up for it  with free stuff they thought you payed for.  A mere look at the employee manaual and ANY shop lifter would cum in his shorts. NO CAMERAS. NO SECRET SHOPPERS.  NO SECURITY GAURDS.  The EMPLOYEE HANDBOOK states "On no Circumstnces will you touch a coustomer, including a shoplifter"  They are trained to try to talk you out of it with key phrases like "Please dont move the Authorities are on the way." In other words find a hastings you never go to and go on a shopping spree. great for vacations! Hastings architecture also makes it an easy target.  CD section builds like a wall around it self with shelves book shelves at all different angles.

This is all unlawful and immoral so don't do it.

NOTE: This doesn't count as my own text it is merely a followup to the UPL shoplifting text

--- Bela Lagousi

[note from linear: well, that's two shoplifting articles in a row, and RTF wrote an issue about it a while ago. Is it just a coincidence, or do we phonelosers have a shoplifting problem?]

What To Do When An Operator Locks Open A Payphone Line
Written by el caco

Don't you hate it when you are cactusing the operators and they lock the line open so you can't get a dial tone and harass them even more? Or when you are trying to convince the operators that you are hopelessly lost without any change and that you need to call your friend for directions and they can't accept collect calls? Well I have complied a top 10 list for that situation.

Top 10 Things to do when an operator locks open a payphone line:

  • 10. Find another payphone and continue whatever it is you were doing.
  • 9. Tape an out of order sign on the phone, so the phone company won't make any money when the line gets unlocked.
  • 8. Jam things into the coin and return coin slots.
  • 7. Put gum on the keys and handset.
  • 6. Pull as hard as you can on the handset, to teach the phone a lesson.
  • 5. "Hack" the payphone... in the phoneloser way.
  • 4. Find another payphone and tell the telco that the phone is broken.
  • 3. Write "UPL 0wnz" on the payphone.
  • 2. Smash your head with the handset.
  • 1. Drive into the payphone with a big truck like in The Matrix.
--- el caco

A Breif Look At The History Of Bell
Written by reb0rn

The first one-way voice transmission took place on March 10, 1876. Yes the Telephone has been invented. Bell Telephone Company is formed in 1877, and telephones are rented out for private use. Also in 1877 the first long distance commuication took place (New York - Boston). The first telphone exchange poped up in 1878 in new Haven, conn. in 1879 the very first telephone numbers were assigned. 1881 was the year the first public long distance calls were made (boston - providence). With long distance comes AT&T. AT&T was formed as a long distance subsidary of Bell in 1885. In 1888 the US Supreme court upholds bells patents by a 4 to 3 vote. In 1889 Bell begins to use copper wire, the wires were previously galvanized iron. In 1890 the first under ground cables were run. 1892 The first automatic switch was put into place. in 1894 bells patents expire, but dont think bell wanted any competition. in 1899 the subsidary of bell, AT&T assumed the business and property of American Bell and became the parent company of the Bell System. the perfection of the vacuum tube allows signal amplification in 1912. the first transcontinental call was in 1915, new york to san frncisco. 1922 The Graham Act recognized Telephony as a Natural Monopoly. 1925 Bell labs is founded. doo doo doo in 1934 the communications act forms FCC. the first *DDD call took place in 1951. 1961 first commercial use of digital transmission. 1965 brings the first satellite call, and the first electronic switch. 1970, the use of non-bell microwave radio links allowed for private lines, this brings forth long distance competition. in 1976 the first common channel signaling, and the first commercial digital switch came about.1984, divestiture Brakes-up bell system.

*DDD - direct distance dialing

--- reb0rn

[note from linear: okay, so maybe reb0rn's grammar sucks, but i was too lazy to edit it]

UPL Feuds And Fights
Written by JJ

The UPL was once a peaceful, quiet online community.  ONCE.  Then came the links section. linear, being a generally nice person, put up some links to some good phreaker sites and yes, some rather shitty ones also.  From my point of view, that is when it all started...

When linear first posted the links, he posted one in particular:

The people involved with this site were rather uptight.  The people visiting their board and site (those not from the UPL) thought they were like the elite phreakers.  Could that have been one of the problems?  If you don't know what I am talking about, find a good sized hammer.  Once you have done that, hit yourself in the foot until you hear something break.  Again, AGAIN!

UPL Fun Seeker
I'm starting to believe that the UPL fun Seeker was a major factor in this fight. Although the little phone loser denies it, it was him!  Most of you were around to see this happen.  Those who weren't, neener neener neener.

Those rather uptight bitches at Telehack bombed our board with all kinda shit when the UPL Fun Seeker went to their board and said 'Telehack sucks. UPL rules!!' or something along the lines of that.  We fought back and so did they.  Why?  Because the UPL Fun Seeker is gay!  Heh.  Also, they tried to make us think we got h4x0r3d.  You can view the UPL hack at http://internettrash.com/users/n0llid/uplhack.html

Now that you know all about the first part of online fighting, you can go up to some chick and go 'hey baby, im studying online psychology.' an instant ticket to get laid.

The Aftermath
Well, finally after two weeks of bitchiness from Telehack, linear and whatever his name is from Telehack agreed to stop the shit.  Even more recently, Telehack has either been shutdown or re-located.  I guess they are not so f-r4d n33t0 3133t0 ph1234k312s after all.

Recent Update
Our popular message board, once a CFM board, was being UPL-Fun-Seekerish (gay) so linear got a rather better one.  This one was hosted by boardhost.com and had a special prize.  You see, since it is free, they had to have a banner at the top.  If your board had the most clicks in one month over all the other boards, you'd win $50!  Of course, this money the UPL COULD HAVE won (I'll get to that in a minute) would have probably gone towards a domain or sub-domain.  First we got into a small arguement with a board called Crimsonwings.  It grew larger and larger and was progressing the same as the Telehack one had.  Well, linear and Jaded threw in some phone-loser style punishment then called it off after TRob, the leader, respected linear and called him a cool kid.  They are friends now, I think and everything WAS going well until one of the chicks from the gURL chat  message board (We believe) decided to be a little whiny bitch and had our board taken down, even though we were in first place.  It was fun while it lasted, and now we will soon have a board that will not be taken down, and with no banners.  Yea.

I have a shitty sense of humor.  This article is lame.  If you feel you must direct any  hate e-mail to my loser ass, let me say one thing first: My e-mail address is below.

--- JJ (xxjjxx@phreaker.net)

[note from linear: contrary to stated in this article, I'm generally an ass, and i don't have anything against UPL Fun Seeker.]
United Phone Losers




Jaded     el caco


Rufus T. Firefly     n0llid