May 2nd, 2007, 05:32 PM
It's legal unless the person it's happening to doesn't want it to be. Either they are being paid for it, signed a paper saying it's OK, or they have a nice case on their hands to make some major money.
Being someone who's enjoyed the occasional "Digital Prank" I can tell you... Well at least when I was doing it... That if you do things like this, it's legal depending on a few very very important levels:
1. I think everyone on the planet has made a prank call. Those are in fact legal if it's between business hours and you aren't harrasing the person (like, for example, you don't do it every week or month or day) because every New Years Eve my cousin and I would be bored, and somewhat intoxicated and started randomly dialing phone numbers of people.
Now, we got a way with this even when I accidently dialed the number for the police department because as I understood it, we weren't swearing, weren't doing it constantly, didn't call people back who didn't want us too do so, and we weren't putting anyone in danger by saying certain things that would make someone believe a life was at risk. For example you don't call up and say you're a Dr or something and that the person's relative is in the ER.
Most of the time we would just dial the prefix of a local call, and make up the rest of the number to see who we could get ahold of, and mess with them a bit.
A good example which worked well, was when about 2 years ago we grabbed a phone book and called everyone with a funny sounding name. Like we saw one named "Bigalls" and I called up asking for Mr Bigballs, and the elderly woman who answered pissed herself laughing saying "HAHAHAHAHA Oh no it's "Bigalls" not Bigballs!" and me without missing a beat said "Oh you've checked huh? They have a surgery for that I think" at which point she almost dropped the phone laughing.
See that's the key, make them appreciate the fact you're trying to annoy them
We called up one guy once who sounded PISSED and I'm like uh oh, this guy could easily make this call not so fun... I tried the old standby "Is your fridge running?" and he said yes, and well, you know where I went next and he actually laughed in a manner that made me think I brightened up his day with something as old as that joke.
I called up another person and my cousin and I laughed ourselves silly because it happened to be a woman, who happened to be watching a movie, so in true "I watched Scream once" style I did the voice saying "What's your favorite scarey movie?" and I don't know why but I managed to keep this girl on the phone for almost a half hour talking to her and she knew the entire time it was a prank call but didn't mind and seemed quite entertained by it.
So those are a few examples of why I wasn't worried about cops coming to the house.
Although once I DID do a call I know wasn't legal. My cousin's friend... Well, we called him up and his Dad answered the phone, and I said I was "Tom, the manager from Prime Time video" (A video rental store near my house) and that we had survailance footage of his son stealing gay pornography.
I managed to not laugh the entire call though it was hard, and my cousin had a pillow on his face laughing so it wouldn't be heard.
Now, he asked me what day so I made one up on the spot saying "It was last Tuesday" and obviously that was a good choice because he said "Oh ****"...
I told him "Well sir, the fact that he's so young we would really like to handle this without calling the police in, and so could you maybe come down today? I'd really appreciate taking care of this without having to call the police or putting something on your boy's record" and he of course grabbed it hook line and sinker and said "Sure who do I ask for?" I'm like umm, just come in and walk up to the desk, and he said "Who do I ask for though?" and I'm like ummm, Rachel (Or something like that I don't remember the name I gave) and he said "OK I'm on my way"..
My Mom overheard a part of it and said not only was that just MEAN, but that Her friend works there and has that exact name... I'm like OMG SCORE!!
A few months go by and my cousin hears from his friend.... He was just getting home when his Dad was leaving to go see the woman at Prime Time video about his homosexual video taste and said "Get in the truck NOW!" and basically the entire way to Prime time video he was yelling at him, and they walk into Prime Time video, and wouldn't you know it? SHE WAS WORKING THAT DAY!
So his Dad and him walk up, find her, say hi, and the woman asked who he was and he says "I'm this boy's father, I got a call a few minutes agofrom your manager Tom saying you caught this little **** stealing gay porn".
Now picture this if you will, this video store is packed with people who have all turned around to watch as the girl at the counter says "Sir, no one named Tom works here, the manager isn't even in today, and no one has stolen any movies from us in quite some time, I think you've been pranked"....
Now, from what I heard, EVERYONE in the store, busted out laughing and his Dad had that look on his face like Deer + Headlights and.... Yea it wasn't nice but I'm so damned proud, I mean who else has ever pulled THAT off?
My cousi to this day will laugh himself silly thinking about it. The kid looked at his Dad, remembered what he was saying the whole way to the store (If you want to know what his Dad was saying, I'm not telling because it's not polite, but just picture a big ol' redneck finding out his son is gay and stealing gay porn and go from there.....yes....not to nice huh?) and started laughing at his Dad basically with the entire store.
That was seriously one of the best pranks I've ever pulled off considering I did it on the spot, and the only thing I knew about this kid was that he was friend's with my cousin and that his Dad was a homophobe.
I didn't ever get in trouble for that and I've always admitted to it because frankly anyone who was actually MAD over it, well, no one was really, even his Dad as far as I know can laugh about it now thinking "My boy's friend's cousin is one funny bastard!".
The look on my cousin's face in between giggles with the stuff I was coming up with was priceless.
Anyway, I kind of went off track and this is WAY to long now, but needless to say, either the station pays them for this, or they have a deal of some sort because that IS harassing.
Sorry to drag it off topic a bit but an example was needed for my post and that one is great lol.
Last edited by gore; May 2nd, 2007 at 05:38 PM.
May 2nd, 2007, 06:00 PM
It's one thing to do it as a prank that you devise up and do once. To encourage thousands of people to do it many times over and over a series of days/weeks is beyond a prank. That smacks of harassment.
May 2nd, 2007, 08:14 PM
Unfortunately, there may be different laws for cell phones compared
to "land lines". In the old days of the strictly wired phone system,
the rules were pretty strict. ??
Whether the person is a transsexual or not would have no bearing
on the government's responsibility to protect the integrity of the system.
Government's attitude is that everyone with a phone is entitled to use it
I came in to the world with nothing. I still have most of it.
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