Telecommunications Device for the Dumb

So this morning GJM calls me: apparently this shit-for-brains in his company’s building has been abusing the deaf relay service to make anonymous prank calls and talk crap to people around the office. After getting hit himself about five times in a row, GJM has a prime suspect and confirms with a little social engineering.

Perp walks into GJM’s office while he’s on the phone
GJM: “Sorry, can you come back later? It’s the Cambridge police department.”
Perp: “Uhm…ebbeh…” *turns white*

The perp’s identity confirmed, his details are clandestinely passed on and we enlist DE as a celebrity voice from an outside line.
DE: “Good afternoon, is this Abdullah Ali*? …Yes, this is Tim Harlon with the FCC, we’re investigating unauthorized use of a telecommunications service…”

The perp turns out to be a bit of a n00b with respect to the US and its humor-impaired government offices (he didn’t know what the FCC was, for example), which would come in handy.

The fun went on for several minutes, DE and I barely containing laughter as a very nervous perp gets questioned about criminal misuse of a federally-mandated telecommunications service, and a few made-up related incidents such as harassing phone calls to the deaf school in Danvers. It ends with DE closing the call with advice to “cooperate fully with the investigation” to minimize his chances of serious prosecution, and a perp beelining out the door at Unnamed Biotech to chain-smoke several cigarettes.

The perp is left to percolate for a bit, but the party’s not over yet. A little while later, a very official-looking text message from an unlisted number. It specifies a date and time to appear in court, warning that failure to appear will authorize an arrest warrant. Non-n00bs may note that legal process is not served via text message, but our perp swallows it hook line and handset! Shaking and sweating, the perp actually called up the police department, and was observed on the verge of tears whimpering, “…but your message doesn’t say which courthouse to appear at!…

By mid-afternoon, the perp is a wreck and the fun’s gone on long enough… GJM calls him into his office and sits him down. The perp blurts out and confesses to everything. GJM holds out his hand and shakes with the perp, saying, “Friend, welcome… to the FCC!” One double-backflip off his chair later, perp knows he’s been had. By the master.

* name changed to protect the guilty


Leave a Reply