One of my colleagues at ESET just passed on this hoax email, having received an enquiry about it. Actually, it’s what I call a semi-hoax: it isn’t a complete fabrication, but it’s based on incomplete and outdated information that was never very accurate in the first place.
REMEMBER: Cell Phone Numbers Go Public this month.
REMINDER….. all cell phone numbers are being released to telemarketing companies and you will start to receive sales calls.
…. YOU WILL BE CHARGED FOR THESE CALLS
To prevent this, call the following number from your cell phone: 888-382-1222.
It is the National DO NOT CALL list It will only take a minute of your time.. It blocks your number for five (5) years. You must call from the cell phone number you want to have blocked. You cannot call from a different phone number.
HELP OTHERS BY PASSING THIS ON .. It takes about 20 seconds.
On no account should you pass the message on! It’s not a bad idea (for US residents, at any rate) to register with the US National Do Not Call Registry, but there’s no urgency, because the Wireless 411 scheme to which this hoax is referring has not been implemented (I seriously wonder whether it ever will be now…) and has, in any case been misrepresented in this email: it was always intended to be opt-in, not a Christmas gift to unscrupulous telemarketers.
As I’ve blogged fairly comprehensively about this on the ESET ThreatBlog, I won’t repeat the whole thing here, but I thought that readers of this blog might well find it of interest. It’s quite nostalgic to find a hoax that’s being spread in the traditional way by email rather than Facebook…
Other relevant links:
- National Do Not Call Registry
- Snopes.com on the hoax and the Wireless 411 directory service
- FTC information: http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2007/02/dnccellphones.shtm and http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2008/04/dncfyi.shtm