Ten digits can ruin your life. These digits are 773-945-5517
We’ve all been the victim of a phone scam at one time or another in our lives. These calls usually start out with a first name salutation such as “Hi Jonathan?” as if they know you, to get your attention and trust. They then continue with an offer that you can not refuse. “You’ve won a free timeshare,” “two roundtrip tickets to Orlando,” “the lottery!!!” etc. “All I need is some contact information and then your bank account details for the $12 transfer fee and you’re all set.” Before you get too excited, no you didn’t win, in fact you’re about to lose, big time! The scam artist on the other end of the phone at 773-945-5517 wants one thing and one thing only, your banking details. A credit card, a checking account number, any account of yours that they can suck money from before they disappear into thin air. To be crystal clear, no matter how convincing they seem, anyone calling from this number is trying to steal from you.
History of 773-945-5517
This number is cited on countless websites, as the instigator of financial fraud (I’ll bet you found this page through a web search right after you received the call, didn’t you?). When one dials 773-945-5517 they receive one word, “goodbye.” The challenge to you is that the instigator of the fraud is in no way affiliated with that number (I can only assume the phone company got tired of reassigning it so just locked it out with “good-bye”). This means two practical things. First, even rapid fire cold call telephone salesmen, participants in arguable one of the most seedy businesses on the planet, have rules of engagement. If they don’t follow these rules they can actually go to prison – using a telephone to commit fraud across state lines increases the punishment manifold and is often a felony for the salesman and owner of the business, so the salesmen use misleading scripts, that are not technically lying to the trained ear, and honor “do not call lists,” for fear of spending the next few years in prison.
But what happens if your objective was not to sell someone a magazine subscription or some other annoying product that they don’t really need. What if your objective was to steal blindly from the person on the other end of the phone? Then you’d need to mask your details so completely that they can never find you or your organization:
- First use a “phantom number” as it is described. A phantom number is one that pops up on your caller ID but does not really exist, or if it does exist it is not owned by the caller. Through what can be assumed to be fairly simple technology the caller tricks your caller ID display into thinking it’s a safe, legitimate, residential number. 773-945-5517 fits this description perfectly.
- Next, hang up at the first sign the “jig is up.” If the prospect is interested too fast, they might be law enforcement, if they want a number where they can call you back, if they want to talk to their spouse, attorney, business partner, then – the “jig is up.”
- Finally, never, ever give out any information that is actually correct. Not your name, not the name of your company, not your location, not even your country.
For those of you who have been scammed by the criminals on the other end of 773-945-5517 report it here to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. For those of you who have not, protect yourself. Here’s how:
First hang up, do not engage the caller.
Next, if they call back, inform them they are violating interstate commerce laws by using a phantom number (773-945-5517) and that you are calling the authorities.
Next, if they still persist, get a service such as AT&T’s Smart Limits to block the number.
Finally, NEVER give out any information about yourself, not your middle name, not your mother’s maiden name and certainly not your banking details.
Good luck, it’s dangerous out there!