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Posted on September 9, 2011 by Jennifer Pointer

(Pic from HERE)

When I was growing up, we spent many a Friday night at "slumber" parties (a misnomber, seeing as sleeping was the ONE thing DIDN'T happen), prank-calling classmates and youth leaders.  Why we were never arrested for this, I'll never know, but it seemed to be a right of passage for teens.

 

Well, some things never change.  And, of course, some people never outgrow the temptation to do this.  A local radio fav is Roy D. Mercer, who likes to call people with the help of their friends.

 

I had a strange call today from a customer, and in the process of trying to figure out what it was about, one of my co-workers suggested that someone may have used a site like PrankDial.com.  I had never heard of such a thing.  Obviously, I can't recommend such an activity (ahem), but I did have to check it out, to see just exactly what this internet-assisted prank-calling was all about.  As it turns out, there are a bunch of websites that help people prank call each other.

 

As you may know, things have changed a lot since the 1980s.  Back then, if you wanted to know who was calling you, you usually had to pick up the phone.  Then, more and more people began using caller ID.  Once the mobile phones became so affordable that everyone in the household could afford their own phone and phone number, people started developing their own contact lists for convenience.  This made it very inconvenient, however, to prank your friends, because the receiver knew who was calling (and simply did not answer calls from unrecognized numbers).

 

Apparently, something had to be done, because pranksters are not so easily deterred, and now we have prank call websites, which allow you to make the call appear to be from any number you choose, and which allow you to either use pre-recorded pranks, or to record one of your own (or type one in, so that it can be read by an automated voice).  There are limits to what type of language can be used, and how many calls can be made (to keep commerical operators such as telemarketers and bill collectors from using the service).  And there are examples on several of the sites of previous pranks that have been played - some of which are quite funny.

 

Because I haven't tried any of the service (no, seriously, I really haven't), and can't vouch for any of them, and really don't have anyone I want to prank right now, I'm not going to list the services here.  You can find them by using your favorite search engine to search for "prank call," or a similar term.  If you do decide to try any of the services, keep in mind that the sites can and probably will track your I.P. address, and that you probably will be required to give enough identifying information that they will be able to spam you later (nothing is really "free" afterall).  If you do try one of these sites, I'd really like to hear about your experience, so please share. 

 

Whatever you decide to do this weekend, I hope you have a great time.  Oh, and is your refrigerator running? You'd better go catch it!

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