Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Mystery phone (661) 380-3000...Who are you?

661 area code
Country: USA
Location: California (Earlimart, Lost Hills, Palmdale

Skype Indicts Users With 661-380-3000

After one fairly-pleasant year of Skype services and the privilege of a restricted (invisible) number, I called a friend who exclaimed “Hey, your number is coming through! Is this the right number?”. I replied with confident and sincere denial and asked him to give me the number masquerading as mine and decided to check into it.

Apparently this number is assigned to many other users too. Whether this number is applied or not, seemingly depends on service-providers and perhaps the time of the call; though I am presently uncertain of the exact criteria for its assignment.
I called several other friends and verified that my actual private number always (and the generic one generally) remains restricted, but occasionally (and unpredictably) is substituted by the following number: 661.380.3000. ATT apparently provides this number to recipients on occasion, but strangely not for every call.
The real trouble is not the number — it is the nature of the message received by those who attempt to call it (661.380.3000) after having it appear on their caller ID. A transcript of the message reads:
The number you have reached is associated with a call that originated from a voice service provider and is not associated with any specific users. Therefore the subscriber who originated the call cannot be reached at this number. Any permission regarding the nature of this call will only be provided in accordance with a lawful request made by the appropriate law enforcement agency. Please report threatening or malicious activities to local law enforcement for further investigation.
Investigation? Malicious activities? WTF?
If I were a business, single woman, or skeptical person of any gender, this would leave an unsettling impression on me. The message never mentions Skype and has a noticeably menacing tone. Why would Skype choose such words? Surely such a message could be made to sound less incriminating or threatening and could certainly be a bit more informative too. If I call someone and – as many people do – they attempt to call me by the number seen on their caller ID, they will be hearing about “law enforcement” and “malicious” behavior. For some callers this would be enough to establish wariness immediately. Who wants that? Below is my comic interpretation of the silliness of Skype’s generic message.
Alice Skypes Bob:
Microsoft’s purchase of Skype, coupled with their patent for “legal intercept“, tripled with the inherentinsecurity(pdf) of Skype’s encryption, leaves me with an absence of admiration for the company. Though I enjoy the service in general, there is a growing number of things I strongly dislike.
I am not entirely alone here either. An interesting little post found by cryptome can be read here. The article complains of Skype’s unsolicited persuasion of users to fuss with Facebook and frivolously make friends (CIA Intelligence Nodes?). I don’t do facebook, and certainly don’t want my phone service doing it.

Perhaps this generic number is merely to cover their asses, but it sure does sound terrible. Maybe they should return to the old 12345 number; at least it’s harder to take seriously or mistake for a real number. But now that they are owned by Microsoft, I can only expect things to get worse – especially privacy and policy.
*According to wikipedia, area-code 661 includes Kern County California, parts of Los Angeles County, Santa Barbara County, and Tulare County.

4 Responses to Skype Indicts Users With 661-380-3000

  1. I want to know how does a Nigerian scammer who has Skype use the number and talks on it? Yes I know as a fact he is a scammer; been tracking for a year; he knows it; then started calling using this 661 number to confuse me about his location.
    • The number is generic; it assigned to users by the Skype Network when a user’s caller ID (phone number) is blocked. Though I am under the impression that not all users who block their caller ID suffer this number, it has been assigned to me, and presumably many thousands of other Skype users. It has nothing more to do with your Nigerian scammer than Skype itself. It may be a profiling effort, or it may fairly be assigned to all who fit the criteria, but it certainly cannot identify anyone (without a subpoena) beyond simply revealing that they use Skype (which has something like 600,000,000 users). The motivation for this post was my resentment towards the incriminating tone of the message, which sounds terrible. The last damned thing you want a customer or business-partner to have to listen to is some absurd warning that you might be a “bad guy”, and a bunch of nonsense about “law enforcement”. It is an irresponsibly implemented message on the part of Skype, and it is my point to ridicule them for it.
  2. The mystery deepens. I do not Skype, have no account with them, and have no reason to hear from them or anyone who uses the. Yet I was awakened in the dead of the night by a call from that number ringing my cell phone at 3am. No voice mail was left. I was angry enough at being awakened (fearing before seeing the number through bleary eyes that it was an emergency call from from a family member), to attempt to call back to give them a piece of my mind. Then I heard the exact recorded message you transcribed. Why doesn’t the FTC crack down on this?!
    • I’m not sure there is anything to “crack down” on. Microsoft (Skype) is probably free to provide any message they want, and even something worse. It is a misleading message, and I despise it. But all I can do is lampoon it and inform people of what I know. I can thoroughly imagine what it’s like hearing that message at 3am

      • Date Occurred:08/09/2011
      • Reported Damages:$520.00
      I apply online for a pesronal grant 2 months ago and last week and this week a Indian guy call me name Edward Harris told me that they have my application on file with them for my $6000 grant and i don't have to pay it back. He also told me that i have to pay $199 for security purpose to get my money. I went to Western Union and wire him my money and never receive my $ 6000 and then he told me that and I needed to send $299 to him because i was receiving $300 more to my grant. I feel like a fool because i borrow the money from family and they want their money back. I need help and the F.B.I to investigate and recover my losses. my Name is Detrice Harrison and my cell is 2024912639. This also occurs yesterday 8/11/11 and Wednesday 8/10/11. Someone please help me i am crying because i had plans to my off some bills and to help my sick father-in-law out that's in the hospital now with his bill.(Editors note: Careful...this too may be a reverse scam soliciting $$$)

      • John in CA

        My friend just tried to contact me twice and this number came up on my cell caller ID. Here's the catch: Skype gives you two options to contact a friend. #1 Phone call, #2 Video call. If you use the the "phone call" it goes to whatever number you have listed on your skype account. You can't connect with the number because you haven't bought skype credits. Now use the "video call" option and wal-la, you have a connection on your computer via Skype. I'm sure there are some hackers or scammers using this mode of communication; but hey, these guys will find anyway they can to get your $$$. Stay Safe
        Caller: Skype
      • 0
        Unwanted this number call me anymore
        Caller: T-mobile

      • 0
        Unwanted this number call me
        Caller: T-mobile
      • 0
        this number just called me with that indian accent sounding like the guys from the metro tv commerical saying it's a finacinal matter i'm like yeal  right so i gave him music to listen to instead of answering so he leaves a vmail for me from his nuttie self dude get a real life Jesus is waiting to hear from you. you know why and what about.
      • 0
        idk who is calling me but i dont want any unknown calls anymore!
        Caller: idk
      • 0
        Wanted home #
      • 0
        Got a call from the same number but no one was on the line
      • 0
        Got a call from the same number but no one was on the line
      • 0
        There is nothing "scary" here. I got a call from this number from a biz contact.  Must be that they are using an internet phone from home instead of the work number.  people are SUCH freaks today, turning everything into bizarre conspiracies.  Grow up, learn to think.
      • 0
        It is obvious that Skype is forwarding internet call originating on the net to this number, if any number calls your skype account and you choose to forwarded it you will get this caller ID.  (And I may add, it will cost you a couple of cents, you may want to rething the forwarding if this becomes a routine thing.
      • 0
        It's a Skype call, for chrissakes! It could be anybody you know, or don't know. It could be a scammer; it could be a family member clicking on you. It's nothing to get your panties in a wad about. I call myself on Skype when I need to find my phone.
      • 0
        julio ramires
        I just got a phone call from this number they said they are calling from Sony industrie don`t know how they are
        Caller: Sony
        Call Type: Telemarketer
      • 0
        Just got a call from this # at about 10:30 pm and it was a woman wanting to know why I keep calling and when she answers she hears laughing in the back ground. I asked her who she was and that I haven't called anyone by this #, Then she proceeded to start talking about that she thinks she knows who this is and wants my name and well my reply was non of your business and then she starts ranting about something with me calling her husband!!?? This woman or what ever this is has lost her mind! I told her to get her facts straight before she starts calling people and accusing  people of things!!!
      • 0
        Legit Skype number - probably your friends from abroad - PICK UP!
        Caller: friends/family
      • 0
        WOW!! They have a WHOLE SLEW of lies..... He just told me my old address, and said he was from the government offering to give me money to fix up my house!! I said I wasn't interested because I couldn't be sure that this wasn't a scam, he says "Oh no maam, I unsure you, this is not a scam." My response: "That's funny, because if it was a scam, you"d say the same thing. I'm not interested." I hung up.
        Caller: "Department of the National Government"
      • 0
        My wife put our Siamese. Cat on Craigslist got a call from 6613803000 saying they were looking to feed if to there boa snake. If ur reading this u cowards come visit me an ill show u what a redneck country boy from the south an a former soldier can do. Your a worthless cowered that obviously was never loved as a child an abused by ur daddy.  So f*** with my wife again come find me an ill curb stomp ur a** an send ur body floating down the river.
        Call Type: Prank Call
      • 0


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