RIP-OFFS: Reach Out and Rob Someone

Reach Out and Rob Someone

"Pssst! Wanna buy a cheap long-distance call?" Words to that effect are now being whispered in the vicinity of telephone booths across the country as part of a scam that costs U.S. phone companies anywhere from $6.5 million to $11 million a year. Hustlers who might once have peddled drugs or sex offer prospective customers cut-rate telephone calls that are placed by using access codes stolen from long-distance phone companies. The most likely buyers: people waiting in urban bus or train terminals, especially immigrants who might want to call a loved one in a foreign land without having to fork over...

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