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Verizon Tech Accused Of Making $220K In Sex Calls On User Lines 218

Posted by samzenpus
from the lots-of-lotion dept.
Joseph Vaccarelli, a former Verizon Technician, has been charged with racking up $220,000 in phone-sex calls by tapping into the land lines of nearly 950 customers. Authorities say that he made approximately 5,000 calls, resulting in 45,000 minutes of call time. Verizon estimated that out of a 40-week period, Vaccarelli spent 15 weeks talking on sex lines. How in the world do you have this much phone sex, period, but especially at work, and not have anyone notice?

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Verizon Tech Accused Of Making $220K In Sex Calls On User Lines

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  • by Sinryc (834433) on Thursday September 11, 2008 @01:34AM (#24958371)
    You can have that much by either being very very good, or very very bad at it.
    • by MrNaz (730548) on Thursday September 11, 2008 @02:57AM (#24958849) Homepage

      How in the world do you have this much phone sex, period, but especially at work, and not have anyone notice?

      He told his boss that he was only going to take a 0.002 hour break.

      • by madirish2600 (149913) on Thursday September 11, 2008 @07:04AM (#24960067) Homepage

        "How in the world do you have this much phone sex, period, but especially at work, and not have anyone notice?"

        Lol! You work at a phone company if you don't want to get noticed spending too much time on the phone!

        Customer: "What are you doing?"
        Phone Tech: "Uh, checking the line."
        Customer: "No! With your other hand!"

        • Does bring to mind another point: I wonder if there is a such a thing as terminal tennis elbow. From TFB:

          Verizon estimated that out of a 40-week period, Vaccarelli spent 15 weeks talking on sex lines.

          Holy crap! He's gotta look like the guy from Idiocracy's masturbation network commercial by now. Too bad there isn't an Olympic sport that requires you to have one really strong arm. If Air Hockey ever becomes an Olympic sport I believe we have our gold medal locked down.
      • I cannot help but think of the quote from "Deep Throat", "Follow the Money". I think would explain a lot of things...

  • uh (Score:2, Informative)

    by SuSEboy (642235)
    uh.. Someone did notice. He got caught remember?
    • uh.. Someone did notice. He got caught remember?

      Yeah, they caught him immediately after he dialed a line that charged $45,000 a minute.

      • by SuSEboy (642235)
        The poster didn't ask why he didn't get caught immediately, the poster asked why he didn't get caught.
        • by MrNaz (730548)

          One would assume that that's what was meant, given that he got away with it for the better part of a year.

          • by Bert64 (520050)

            If you work in an office, then sure it would be quite hard to get away with spending hours a day on sex lines without being noticed...
            On the other hand, this guy was a phone tech, so he could well have spent lots of time in telephone exchanges on his own, or working at the end of street line boxes again on his own, and travelling between various sites...

            • by Shakrai (717556)

              Nothing gets me off quite like hanging off a telephone pole and talking on a sex line ;)

              • Hm. One hand holding the handset. One hand holding onto the telephone pole.

                Yep, you're doing it wrong.

                • Re:uh (Score:4, Funny)

                  by gnick (1211984) on Thursday September 11, 2008 @10:55AM (#24963523) Homepage

                  Hm. One hand holding the handset. One hand holding onto the telephone pole.

                  Yep, you're doing it wrong.

                  That's why it took him so long. Try substituting a dry-hump on a telephone pole for your hand-of-preference. It takes much longer.

                  Um... At least that's what I've heard...

                  • Try substituting a dry-hump on a telephone pole for your hand-of-preference. It takes much longer.

                    And then there's the problem of splinters...

                    Um... At least that's what I've heard...

          • Re:uh (Score:5, Interesting)

            by gmack (197796) <gmackNO@SPAMinnerfire.net> on Thursday September 11, 2008 @08:22AM (#24960849) Homepage Journal

            At a previous job I had access to telephone exchanges. DSLAM firmware updates can easily take an hour or two and my diagnostic equipment included a telephone headset with a bix clip adapter.

            Given that I was alone most of the time, there are thousands of lines going into the rooms I worked in and the competition left their panels out in the open I can completely see how someone with less of a moral backbone could have caused a lot of trouble without getting caught.

            Someone working for the telco itself would have access to hundreds of thousands of lines.

          • by ubrgeek (679399)
            Why not the better part of 15 minutes? ;)
        • Which part of Germany are you from?
    • After 40 weeks (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Moraelin (679338) on Thursday September 11, 2008 @04:34AM (#24959319) Journal

      He got caught after 40 weeks, or almost 10 months of it. During which he spent 15/40 = 37.5% of his time talking to sex lines.

      So maybe the question "why didn't he get caught?" is technically wrong, it practically begs for the question, "why did it take them so long?"

      I mean, seriously, is stuff like, "hur hur hur, I want to pull down your panties and stick it in your ass" something you'd normally hear around the office when people are talking on the phone? Well, I guess I've had worse tech support before, but never that explicit ;)

      • Re:After 40 weeks (Score:5, Insightful)

        by kannibal_klown (531544) on Thursday September 11, 2008 @06:29AM (#24959819)

        The way I read the story, it seems he wasn't a "tech" as in tech support script-reading monkey that asks if your computer is turned on.

        It seems that he was a tech that was out in the field, and able to tap into land lines with their special little widget. So if he's in a quiet suburb in the middle of the day, it's plausible nobody would notice what he was really doing unless he was making motions.

        Then again I could be wrong.

        • by panaceaa (205396)

          You don't need a special widget to tap into land lines. If you're at a box, they all have regular phone jacks you can plug a regular phone into. There's only the legal system stopping someone from going to your house, finding your phone box outside, opening it with a screw driver, and making all the calls they want. Or they can listen to your calls if they'd prefer (but it takes special equipment to do this without putting a click on the line.)

          I lived in an apartment complex in college, 20 units, and the

      • Well, nothing says he was using that time to actually have phone sex. He could have just been using the lines because there was a girl on the other end who he could pretend was interested in him.
        • by Noexit (107629)

          This is what I'm guessing. The article doesn't say he was whacking it, just using the lines. He could easily have just been talking to the girl, guy, whatever while he was working, without the actual sex part of the deal.

      • by Bert64 (520050)

        Did he work in an office? If he was a phone tech he could have been on the road, or working unattended in comms rooms...

        • by rekoil (168689)

          More than likely the latter - there are a lot of unmanned exchange rooms were it's trivial to physically tap into landlines. Not to mention a lock on the door...I'll also bet he worked the overnight shifts, where there's a ton of downtime outside of maintenance windows.

      • Maybe he was selling it on through his own (or a pal's) premium rate number?
  • by houstonbofh (602064) on Thursday September 11, 2008 @01:42AM (#24958427)
    "Can you hear me now?"
    "Good!"
    "No, Bad! Very very bad... You have been so very bad!"
  • Money Making Scheme (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 11, 2008 @01:42AM (#24958429)

    Set up 900 premium phone service.
    Get mate at Verizon to use customers phones to call said service. ...
    Profit.

  • by Korey Kaczor (1345661) on Thursday September 11, 2008 @01:43AM (#24958433)
    But I think most slashdot users won't get it, because they're not used to being on top of things, if you know what I mean.
  • by Big Nothing (229456) <big.nothing@bigger.com> on Thursday September 11, 2008 @01:43AM (#24958435)

    A few years ago I turned down a job offer as a Verizon Technician due to low pay - I didn't know there were these kinds of fringe benefits!

  • by Anomalyst (742352) on Thursday September 11, 2008 @01:43AM (#24958439)

    How in the world do you have this much phone sex?

    I'd tell ya, but then you'd die of exhaustion.

  • Not sex but money (Score:5, Insightful)

    by moteyalpha (1228680) * on Thursday September 11, 2008 @01:46AM (#24958453) Homepage Journal
    Did he own part of the phone-sex companies. That would explain that it was just a way to steal money and hide it. Less exciting story though.
  • 45000/5000 (Score:5, Funny)

    by SportyGeek (694769) on Thursday September 11, 2008 @01:47AM (#24958467)
    9 minute average....better than your average geek. ;)
  • by Kuroji (990107) <kuroji@gmail.com> on Thursday September 11, 2008 @01:50AM (#24958489)
    Notwithstanding that I think a great number of users here think idle is a waste of space, a headline like this ought to be taken seriously, not treated as if it were a joke. This guy compromised the accounts of nearly a thousand customers, and that is a HUGE breach for Verizon's customers.
    • by Cyno01 (573917) <Cyno01@hotmail.com> on Thursday September 11, 2008 @02:03AM (#24958569) Homepage

      He didnt compromise accounts, in the summary it says he tapped into land lines. That can be done with a $5 telephone handset and a pair of aligator clips, and was probably done using an actual linemans handset provided to him by the company. Google "beige box" for more info.

      • by jimdread (1089853) on Thursday September 11, 2008 @03:04AM (#24958887)

        He didnt compromise accounts, in the summary it says he tapped into land lines.

        He should have tapped in somewhere later in the system, so his calls wouldn't get charged to a customer. But hey, maybe he wanted to get caught.

        Also I wish to complain about this sentence from the summary. This sentence should be taken outside and shot:

        How in the world do you have this much phone sex, period, but especially at work, and not have anyone notice?

        It's a bad idea to start spelling out your punctuation. As you can see in the above sentence, the author has ended up with the word "period' surrounded by commas. "Period" is supposed to end a sentence. And it is supposed to be written as "." not spelled out with letters. Spelling out "period" in the middle of a sentence, and surrounding it with commas, is madness exclamation mark. See question mark? It's stupid. Please don't spell out the word "period", use the popular abbreviation: .

        • He *isn't* spelling out his punctuation.

          "period (mostly North America) And nothing else; and nothing less; used for emphasis."

          Please don't try and grammar/spelling/etc nazi without engaging brain, it makes you look silly.

          • by Otter (3800)

            Please don't try and grammar/spelling/etc nazi without engaging brain, it makes you look silly.

            He's being pedantic, but he is nonetheless correct. That sense of "period" derives from the punctuation mark.

          • Duck!  The joke missed you.
        • by ColaMan (37550)

          It's common in certain parts of the world to use the word 'period' (or the phrase 'full-stop') to emphasise a statement like that. It indicates and strengthens the fact that there's nothing else to consider.

          The statement :
          "How in the world do you have this much phone sex, period?"

          Is relatively acceptable. The "period" indicates that to have this much phone sex, you must have to do it to the exclusion of everything else - sleeping/eating/bathing/etc.

          But it's a terrible abuse of sentence s

      • He didnt compromise accounts, in the summary it says he tapped into land lines. That can be done with a $5 telephone handset and a pair of aligator clips, and was probably done using an actual linemans handset provided to him by the company. Google "beige box" for more info.

        This actually happened to me once. In my area, Bell has installed boxes outside houses with phone jacks anyone can access with a standard corded phone. The purpose is to have customers use it to determine if a problem is inside or outside the residence, to save Bell unnecessary tech calls, but by adding a flagrant vulnerability to the phone service.

        So one month, $273 in phone sex charges appeared on my bill at times when I was at work. I had even requested 900 numbers blocked when I ordered the service,

    • by interactive_civilian (205158) <mamoru&gmail,com> on Thursday September 11, 2008 @05:30AM (#24959567) Homepage Journal

      You are right. Given the submitter's final question, it probably should have been an "Ask Slashdot". ;)

  • Maybe both? :-P
  • Now sue for ADA discrimination.... Because in a way, the company is responsible for his troubles, right?
  • by Chrisq (894406) on Thursday September 11, 2008 @02:03AM (#24958565)
    I used to think a certain manager where I work had a bad stomach - he would often get up and say "back in 10 minutes". Evidently people in reception thought a certain secretary had a bad stomach too.

    One day security installed a security camera in a stock room because they noticed that things "kept being moved around". Soon all became apparent.

    All I can say is he may have lacked in duration but he made up in frequency!
  • by zakezuke (229119) on Thursday September 11, 2008 @02:06AM (#24958583)

    Presuming a 40 hr work week, that works out to be 1/3 of the year on phone sex lines.

    That's pretty unbelievable, considering that one still needs time to jack into the lines in the first place.

    I've done some slack things at work, and it's pretty easy to get distracted and find out you spent most of the day goofing off. But this would take a real concerted effort to not work.

  • Virginia Tech Accused Of Making $220K in Sex Calls

    I was ready to explode with laughter until I realized what it really said. Dammit.

    -- A UVA student

  • by Britz (170620) on Thursday September 11, 2008 @03:01AM (#24958877) Homepage

    Maybe he was in on the calls business. And he thought if those bills turn up the customers would be too embarressed to compain.

    Imagine how many divorces that guy most have caused.
    How would you explain such a bill to your significant other and how would they react?

  • How in the world do you have this much phone sex, period, but especially at work, and not have anyone notice?

    Shouldn't this article be filed in the 'Ask Slashdot' section?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 11, 2008 @03:40AM (#24959039)

    Technical wise. It is as simple as driving up to a cabinet, cracking open a pit or walking into an MDF/IDF room, finding a pair that has tone and dialing. If that one doesn't work, go to the next pair.

    I used to make calls on customers lines all the time but never anything that would cause them to get billed (local calls for support, cable pair information, etc).

  • Follow the money (Score:4, Informative)

    by Rob Kaper (5960) on Thursday September 11, 2008 @03:51AM (#24959105) Homepage

    This guy wasn't after 45,000 minutes of phone sex. Don't be surprised if soon a follow-up article appears explaining he actually operated some of those lines himself, or is in another way affiliated.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Did anybody think the pink phone was a dildo?

  • How in the world do you have this much phone sex, period, but especially at work, and not have anyone notice?

    And how in the world do you have (sic) twice as much blog reading or solitire playing time? Don't ask me but somehow the usual office drone manages to achieve that. The problem here is not stealing money from the customers or even the immoral consequences of having this so called phone sex (which should better be called phone masturbation as I'm sure anyone here knows that sex involves a direct co
    • by Detritus (11846)
      You don't pay him, the company pays him. You are buying a service, not renting a slave.
    • I'm sure anyone here knows that sex involves a direct contact of exactly two people, not one.

      Pfft. Self-limiting amateur.

  • by FudRucker (866063) on Thursday September 11, 2008 @06:09AM (#24959737)
    He has no idea who is on the other end, it could be some fat hairy old man with a girly voice,,,
  • by ff1324 (783953) on Thursday September 11, 2008 @06:30AM (#24959827)
    You'd think with all those people in "the network" following him while he was doing this, he'd get stage fright or someone would have said "I can SEE you now!"
  • Based on the summary, I thought the submitter was asking for advice on how to get away with doing the same thing.
  • It wasn't me making those calls....well that's what I told her anyway.
  • by bizitch (546406) on Thursday September 11, 2008 @08:35AM (#24961041) Homepage

    butt set ...

  • Surely you've worked at a medium sized or larger company and seen a number of people that seem to do no job. It's like a psychosis or something, they all develop similar mechanisms to kind of cope and survive. I've even seen start-ups with people totems; just guys that contribute very little but make someone in management feel secure.

    I currently work at a networking company, we're not going out of business but we're not rich. We have a dead beat we tried to fire, turns out since it's a larger publ

  • who got in so much trouble because of this guy. "Mom, Dad, I didn't make those calls, I swear!!!"
  • I'm sure, like all monkeys, Verizon phone monkeys play with themselves all the time. You know, in between grooming each other and flinging poo.

    There's probably no way to tell the difference between one acting natural and one having phone sex. Unless you can communicate with them somehow...

  • Comes from the same group of the guy in the tech dept that surfed the web all day, ebay'd, sudoku, or youtubed.
    Equally useless and draining on resources as well as loss in perceived cost and real costs.

    I dont see this to be any different.

  • And I'm not making a joke. A close relative of mine has worked for Verizon for 20 years and I'm amazed at the stories he tells about the union employees. Probably the laziest, immature, uneducated bunch of morons on the planet (besides the Bush Admin). Take a look at news archives what these scumbags do during strikes: vandalize buildings and equipment, sabotage critical data and phone lines, cut off 911 service, etc. They are petty beyond belief and go running to their supervisors and unions heads any time

  • He must have forearms like Popeye...

The key elements in human thinking are not numbers but labels of fuzzy sets. -- L. Zadeh

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