PLA020 Alternatives to CN/A

Gathering Information on Individuals

by RedBoxChiliPepper

written on March 20, 1993
Last Revision on February 12, 1995

This file will contain just about every way there is that I know of and have used to gather information on an individual. Also included throughout the file are samples of conversations you would use to get what you want. Most methods I've outlined here are completely annonymous and over the phone.


         1.  Residential Billing Office
         2.  Finding Out Info With Address (Library Methods)
         3.  Using Radio Shack as a CNA
         4.  Pretend To Be An Ameritech Recording
         5.  Pretend To Be A Manager
         6.  Become An Activist
         7.  Answering Machine Hacking
         8.  Impersonating The IRS
         9.  Getting Copies Of Their Phone Bill
         10. Finding Out What Their Number Is After They Changed It
         11. Getting His New Number From ANI

Residential Billing Office

Method one is called the phone company's Residential Billing Office which is the place you call up when you want to make changes in your phone service or to have a new phone service installed. When you get a phone service installed, you give them all kinds of useful information like your full name, address, where you work, your birthdate, social security number, etc.

You also give them the name of a friend or relative who they can contact in case they need to get in touch with you and so the long distance companies can call them everyday and beg them to sign up for their service. Is what I do to get all of this info on anyone I want is call up the residential office and pose as the owner of the phone wanting to make a change in my service. Of course, I cancel the change a few hours later so no one will ever know I was there. And it rarely fails to work for me. You can even get someone's private second number using this method.

When you call the office and say you want to make a change in your service, they immediately ask you for your phone number. When they type in your number they see on their computer screens a whole page of information on you. Hell, I wouldn't be surprised if they knew my dog's name. They'll usually say something like, "Okay, and you are Rich?" Presto! You now have their first name.

If they don't give you the name right away, ask for it. Say you're not sure who's on the bill now because you have so many roommates that live with you. They never fail to tell you.

Problems With This Method

I've only found two problems with this method. One would be a paranoid gimp such as Darin McCall. If a person suspects someone is fooling around with his phone line and trying to make changes he can call up the residential office and ask them to password protect his line. This means that anyone who wants to do anything with his line including finding out any kind of information would have to tell the residential operator this password.

One way to get around this is to call your victim and pretend to be with the phone company, saying there's been some unusual activity on their account, etc, etc, and ask them what their password is. Another way I've gotten away with is to call the billing office and say I'd like to change my password. They ask for my number and then ask what I'd like my new password to be, forgetting to ask me what my current is. This has worked twice for me.

The second problem is people like me who give false information when they hook up their phone. When I got my phone service, I gave them a fake last name, a fake social security number, a billing address at a post office box and tell them I work for a bank or something like that. (That'll be the day.) Most people don't give the phone company false information because they really have no reason to. So don't rely on the information you gather 100%. There's a small chance that it could be bogus. (Very small!)

Sample Conversations

Now I'll type out some sample conversations that I've had with the billing operators to show you how it's done, some problems you run in to and how to cover them up.

Dialing 800-244-4444...ring...ring...ring...
After selecting the correct information on their automated introduction, I'm connected with a live operator who has a terrible hangover from a bell party she went to last night...

HER:  Residential Billing, this is Sheila. May I help you?
YOU:  Naw, I was just calling for my health. I need to make a change in my
      service. I want call forwarding.
HER:  Okay, could I have your complete phone number?
YOU:  Sure, it's 618-797-2339. Do you want me to spell it?
      (Note, I'm exaggerating the sarcasm just a tad bit.)
HER:  Okay...(type type type!)...Alright and who am I speaking to?
YOU:  Uhhh, this is Scott.
HER:  That's funny, I have a Robert as the billing name.
YOU:  Oh, him. That's my roommate. Robert Dawson, right?
HER:  No, Robert Coyner.
YOU:  Oh, yeah, him. We have two Roberts living here.
HER:  Okay, I see. (gives me a fake bell-type laugh.)
See how easy that is? Now the conversation would go on with her trying to sell you the special rate you get when you order three services or more. NEVER hang up as soon as you get the information. Always finish out the conversation and then call back later that day and cencel the service you ordered. Or you could do something like this...

HER:  Okay, we'll have call forwarding hooked up for you this Tuesday
      morning and the hook up fee will be a one-time charge of $15.65. Would
      you like that billed to you all at once or in payments?
YOU:  Oh, goodness gracious heavens to betsy! (Sounding shocked) That's a lot
      of money. I had no idea it would cost me that much. Maybe I should wait
      until Robert gets home and ask him if it's okay to pay that much since
      he is the one who pays the bill. He's my sugar daddy, you see. Could you
      take my order off and I'll have him call back this evening?
HER:  Sure, Scott, no problem. (I hear her scratching her underarm in the
      background.) Will there be anything else for you then?
YOU:  No, I think you've done just about enough for me today. (smirking)
HER:  Alright, well you have a really nice day.
YOU:  And you have a cheesy evening. Happy Haunaka.
So now you've got the name. It's Robert Coyner. So you call up the billing office again and of course you get a totally different operator. I have called them many times and never get the same operator more than once. Kind of like lightning never striking twice in the same place.

YOU:  Hi, this is Robert and I want to make some changes in my service.
HER:  Okay, could I have your billing number?
YOU:  No...Just kidding! It's 618-797-2339.
I won't go into detail on this. Just order call forwarding again and near the end of the conversation say...

YOU:  Oh, by the way I'm employed by a different company now. Do you want to
      put the new one in there?
HER:  (Surprised because no one ever asks this.) Oh, sure! Where do you work
YOU:  (Proudly) I'm a garbage man for the city of Roxana. (Wiping a tear from
      my eye.) Is my old job at 7-Eleven still listed in there?
HER:  No, we still have you listed as the assistant manager of K-Mart.
YOU:  Yeah, that's where I worked at before I went for my career as a stock
      boy at the supermarket.
Presto, you now know where they worked when they installed their phone service. Of course, they could have changed jobs by now but at least you have something. You want the social security number? Well, on a totally different call you do basically the same thing.

YOU:  Oh, by the way, I finally found my social security number. Do you want
      me to give that to you?
HER:  (Confused) What are you talking about? We have your social security
      number right here in the computer.
YOU:  Well, that's strange. When I applied for my service, I couldn't find
      my social security card and never gave it to them. Maybe my wife
      called and gave it to you. What number do you have there?
HER:  341-69-3926
YOU:  Hmmm, well that's my number. My wife must have called already. That
      bitch, I'm going to have to beat her when she gets home.
Just don't forget to call back and cancel the services you've ordered after a few hours. (Or right away, it doesn't matter.) A word to the wise, if you're planning to make some harrassing changes in their service, don't do it from your home phone. This IS an 800 number and they can find out where the call is comming from if they need to. This happened to me when I canceled a former boss's phone service. My district manager confronted me saying that the call had come from my work phone. (Where I had made the call from.)

The Public Library:

Every library has what is called a criss-cross directory, usually published by Haines or Cole's. This book will list every listed phone number in order. You simply find the phone number you're looking for and if it's listed, the name and address will be next to it.

Another method of searching is by address. All the addresses in the city are also listed in order so you can look someone up by their address. To get the information you need, call the library and just tell them what you need and they're usually happy to give it to you. Just remember, when you make Conan the Librarian jokes, the lady gets pissed off.

Also, you can go into the library and ask to look at the directory. When she gives it to you, sneak off to a secluded isle and shove the book in your jacket and haul ass. This is a handy book to own.

Using Radio Shack As A CNA

This may sound crazy, but I swear it has worked for me. Again, you have somebody's phone number but you don't have their address or their name. If it's late in the day and the phone company's billing office has already closed down for the day, Radio Shack is always open until 9:00!

A few years ago, Radio Shack got was using those old fashioned digital cash registers to ring up sales and using their TRS-80 color computer to send in the nightly reports to Fort Worth, TX. Finally, they decide to go high tech like all the other low income electronic stores and do everything on a computer. And everyone who shops there are probably familiar with the salesman asking you, "Could I have the last four digits of your phone number?"

When you give them these four numbers, they get a small list of maybe two or three names who have those four digits for their phone number. This is where we come in with a phone call to their store...

BOB:  Thank you for calling Radio Shack, Amierica's Technology store. You've
      got questions? We've got answers! This is Bob, how may I help you this
      evening. (I wonder if they could make that introduction any longer?)
YOU:  Hi, Bob. This is Frank from Radio Shack #1365 here at St. Louis Center.
      I just had a kid come in here and get a refund for something he bought
      yesterday and after he left I took the thing apart and the whole
      inside is missing from it.
BOB:  (In astonishment) You're kidding...
YOU:  Nope, all I got here is the casing to a $250 police scanner. Now he
      gave me his real phone number and he lives there in your area and I
      need you to type the digits 3902 and see what you come up with there.
BOB:  (Typing)...I have three listings here.
YOU:  Okay, could you read off all three names? I'm going to find out which
      one of them is him and call up the police.
It's that easy. If the person you're looking for has shopped at that Radio Shack store in the last year, you've probably got his name and address now. If that store didn't work, try another one. And another, and another, and another until you find one that he's shopped at. Everyone shops at Radio Shack SOMEtime. Remember, the name you have could be someone else that lives with him, but at least you've got a start.

Pretend To Be The Ameritech Recording:

This one works especially well with elderly people. You call up the number you have and pretend to be the Phone Directory's automated system. Here's what you say after they answer:

(In a clear and distinguished voice) Hello! This is the Illinois Bell Ameritech automated address and phone number system. To ensure that your information appears correctly in the 1995 edition of the phone book, please state your Name, Address, City and phone number after the tone. If you wish to remain unlisted this year, please say so after stating your information. Thank you for choosing Illinois Bell... (beep!)

A non-touch tone beep can be generated by pressing the 1 and 2 buttons on your phone at the exact same time unless you have a generic telephone. Most people will state their information but there are those who are skeptical and will just hang up. If you want, be persistant and keep calling them. After they give you their information, you can mess with their minds if you want to by saying things like, "Thank you! Now please state your Visa card number...okay, now state your bra size...What color is your phone...What color is your toilet...Please state your lover's name..."

Pretend To Be A Manager

If you know of a place where your victim has worked or is working you can call up their employer and squeeze a little information out of him. The conversation would go something like this:

(In this example you're calling McDonald's)

MCDS: (Cheery girl) McDonald's, may I help you?
 YOU: Yeah, put your boss on the phone, you little tramp!
MCDS: (Still cheery) Thank you, please hold on...
 YOU: (Waits for her to go fetch the manager from flipping burgers.)
MCDS: Hi, this is Manager Jerry speaking. (Who's he trying to impress??)
 YOU: Hi, Jerry, this is Walter from Blockbuster Video rentals in
      Belleville. I'm doing a reference check on a John Light you had
      working there. I need to know the dates of his hire and termination
      and I need to know whether he was fired or if he quit.
MCDS: Okay, hold on just one second...(He digs through that highly
      sophisticated filing system that only a McDonald's manager could
      devise. He finds John's files mixed in with a box of hairnets.)
MCDS: Here it is. I have John hired on July of 1992 and he quit on August
      of 1992. (How long do you expect someone to last at a place like that?)
 YOU: And he quit? He wasn't fired?
MCDS: No, he quit. But he was a dandy little worker, he was.
 YOU: Okay, that's all I really needed to know. Oh, by the way, would you
      happen to have his phone number there on his application? It looks like
      he forgot to write his down here.
MCDS: Uh, sure. It's 254-4016.
 YOU: Boy, are you dumb. I'm just some kid trying to get this guy's phone
      number. Have a nice future at McDonald's, you twit. (Hangs up.)
So maybe I didn't say that last part, but I have tried this twice now, once at Long John Silver's and at McDonald's and it worked both times. I think asking for his phone number just kind of catches the guy off guard and he rattles it off with no hesitation. If it doesn't work one place, try another place he worked at. You might also try getting a social security number like this. You could probably do the same thing for other information such as him social security number and his underwear size.

Be An Activist

You only have their address and the library won't give you any information you need so your only choice is to become an activist and start a petition. Get a clipboard, paper and a pen. Quickly write up a petition to save something worthwhile like, "We the undersigned, are petitioning against the city's decision to tear down our local grade school and turn it into a landfill." Make up a whole bunch of names and sign them to your petition. Get about 25 names to make it look legitimate.

Now go up to the guy's door and knock. When he answers have a prepared speech ready about what you're petitioning against and convince him to sign it too. Be really friendly and outgoing with him so he'll like you and want to help you out. You might also ask him to include his phone number after he's signed his name so you can contact him about other local situations that might affect him. Who knows, he could fall for that one.

Assuming you can decipher his adult signature, you now know who lives there.

Answering Machine Hacking:

The answering machines that let you call in remotely and retrieve your messages are very commonplace these days. The owner of the machine can simply call his own house from the office and punch in a small code to listen to his messages. For us, it's a guaranteed lode of information. Their messages can contain all sorts of useful information such as phone numbers to close friends and relatives, when they'll be out of town, who their doctor is, where they work, just about anything. When someone leaves a message they assume that only the person they're leaving it for will hear it. Fools.

Usually the code is only two digits long and very easy to break. On one brand of machine the code is only one digit long and on some it can be three. Wait until their not home and start working on their machine. Call their house and after the tone start hitting random numbers to see if you can break the code. Here are some helpful guidelines:

o A standard feature on a lot of brands of machines lets you not have to listen to their outgoing message everytime you call. If you get sick of the outgoing message try pressing "*" and sometimes that will bring you directly to the beep. o Some machines only give you a certian amount of time to press in the security code so if you're not quick enough it'll hang up on you. Call back and try again. o Other machines want you to press and hold the numbers of the code for about one second. So start from "1" and work your way up until you either hit the code right or it takes too long and hangs up on you. When you're trying codes try every number once and then do the same thing again over and over until you've hit the right number. Most answering machines are just looking for those right two numbers and don't care what else you're hitting.

After you've finally got it, keep calling back and use the process of elimination to narrow your way to their code. Let's say that when you hit "123456" it lets you in. Next time you call, try "12345" and see if you still get in. If you do, try "1234" and so on until you eliminate your way down to their two or three number code. You'll know when you've broken in when it starts giving you weird beeping noises.

After you've figured out their code, sometimes you have to dial one more number to hear the messages. Most of the time the machine will automatically play the messages after you put in the security code but on some you have to dial number "1" or something like that. Not really that hard to figure out.

For the more malicious people out there, you can do more than just listen to their messages, a lot of machines will let you change the outgoing message, erase all the messages and monitor all the sounds in their house. Of course, when you start fucking around with them, they know you're there and the whole purpose is defeated.

Now that you've figured out their code, you want to call every day that you can and take notes of all the messages that you hear. Even the small things could mean something to you one of these days so write down every name and phone number that's put on there. Write down all the personal information you hear because you never know what you'll be able to use in the future.

Try to make sure you're not erasing his messages every time you call or he'll start to wonder why he never gets messages anymore. Sometimes an answering machine will automatically erase the messages after you've listened to them remotely unless you put in a code afterwards.

This Is The IRS, Pal.

Recently, I called up a few hospitals where someone I knew worked and I needed a little information on him. I was amazed at how easily they give out information when they think you work for the IRS. I was able to get his social security number, phone number, home address and they even told me where else had wrote down that he worked at in the past.

Call up the place where he works. If it's a bigger type business such as a hospital or the White House, ask for the personell department.

HER:  Yes, this is Sherry, may I help you?
YOU:  Hi, Sherry, this is John from the IRS. We've been investigating an
      employee we think is working there for you. Could you tell us if there's
      a Beavis Martin working there?
HER:  Just a second......Yes, he's working here.
YOU:  Okay, do you have a fax machine there where you could fax me his job
      application and tax forms?
HER:  No, we don't have a fax machine.
YOU:  Could I just get a little inforamtion over the phone then?
HER:  Sure.
If it's a little business like a video store or something, they usually won't have a fax machine so you have nothing to worry about. If it's a bigger business they might have them so you wouldn't want to ask them that unless you have a fax machine where you can recieve the fax. Or you could always have them fax the papers to a local copy shop where you can pick them up. (Wait a second, I think I'm repeating myself here...)

Ask the lady what social security number he put down explaining that he has been known in the past to write down bogus numbers to avoid paying taxes. Ask what his phone numbers is, and anything else you feel would be useful for you. Tell her that this whole thing is strictly hush-hush and that she shouldn't mention to Beavis that you're investigating him. This will really lower her opinion of her employee, knowing that he's into tax fraud.

Getting a Copy of Their Phone Bill:

First of all, you need an address where the phone company can send their bill to. You don't want to use your own address as that would be really stupid of you. Get a bogus p.o. box, vacant house, or fill out a change of address card and forward mail going to a certian address in his name to you.

Call the residential billing office and explain to them that you want all your future phone bills to be sent to a p.o. box instead of your home from now on. She'll gladly make that change and his next phone bills will start arriving at the new p.o. box.

Now you want to get copies of their past phone bills. Call up the residential office again and tell them that the company you work for has agreed to reimburse you for all the company-related calls you've made from your home in the last four months but you've thrown all your phone bills away. Ask them if they can mail you your last four or five phone bills. They can and they will.

Now in two weeks you'll recieve copies of his phone bills from the last four months and be able to see all the long distance calls he makes. After you get the bills you'll want to call the residential office again and change his billing address back to how it was so he won't know anything ever happened.

Another thing to do if you want to continue recieving his phone bills and don't really care if he knows is to call the billing office and tell them on your next phone bill you want a list of every local number that was dialed so you can "see why your kid's making so many phone calls". My dad did that to me once and there was about fifty pages of bulletin boards I'd called, not to mention third number billed calls.

Knowing what he calls locally will help you out a lot. You'll be able to see exactly what he and his family calls, who his friends are, their may be some personal numbers in there that he calls, etc. You can also see if he's the type of person to call phone sex alot.

One more thing, if you'd like to get a new calling card number, since you now recieve his phone bills, you can order a calling card for yourself and you'll recieve it just like you do his phone bill.

Finding Out His Number When He Changes It

Let's say our man is fed up with us. He's tired of having his boss question him about tax evasion, tired of having his phone bill messed with, tired of people playing on his answering machine, and tired of petitioners comming to his door all the time. He decides to pay the $90 to have his phone number changed to an unlisted number.

Ha!, you think. He's just wasted $90 because I'm going to get his new number. If you've been watching this guy closely you'll know who his best friends are and who his relatives are. You know exactly who calls him alot because you've been monitoring his answering machine for two months now. Maybe it's his poor mother across town or maybe it's his best friend that you'll pick, it doesn't really matter.

Now it's very simple. Let's say you pick his mom and dad's house. Call the phone company's billing office and pretend to be the dad or have a girlfriend pretend to be the mom. You'll be doing basically what you did to get copies of his phone bill but this time you're going to get copies of his parents phone bill. First, tell the billing office you want every local number accounted for on your bill. Then call them back later and change their billing address to your p.o. box.

Now just to make sure that they're going to call thier son, you can call them and leave messages on their machine saying that you're their son and to call him when they get in, it's important. Even if his parents can tell that you're not really him, they'll probably call him and tell him what happened.

At the end of the month, you'll get their bill which will have every locally called number on it which will include their son's new phone number. Call up their son and say, "Ha ha! You can't hide from me!" Read in the paper the next morning about how he committed suicide by hanging himself with his telephone cord.

Oh, and while you're at it, doesn't mom and dad need some new calling cards?

Getting His New Number From ANI:

Otherwise known as Automatic Number Identification. This means that in the middle of the night you go to his house, open his phone box, plug in your phone and dial the ANI number which will read off his new number to you. You could also call up a friend that has Caller I.D. The best ANI I know of is 1-800-MY-ANI-IS.

Just make sure to be really quiet out in his back yard and watch out for those motion sensor lights that everyone has these days. Those things will be the death of people like me.

If you have any additions or comments about this file, please contact me.

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