CHICAGO (CBS) – If you call one legitimate-looking 800 number and someone on the other end asks if you’re looking for a good time, she’s not talking about a good time seeing a play on Randolph Street or going to a game at Wrigley Field.
No, if you call 1-800-CHICAGO, you’ll actually find yourself connected with a phone sex line.
The Associated Press reports a Philadelphia company called PrimeTel Communications is to blame. Over the past 13 years, the company has quietly gained control over nearly a quarter of all the 1-800 numbers in the United States and Canada.
Thus, many people probably just looking for the hours at the Museum of Science and Industry or directions to Navy Pier instead ended up hearing a woman offering “one-on-one talk with a nasty girl” for $2.99 per minute.
PrimeTel also grabbed the toll-free inmate information line for the Cook County Jail the moment the line became available after the jail canceled it. Soon enough, the number was ringing into one of the National A-1’s phone-sex lines.
Many, if not most, of PrimeTel’s 1.7 million numbers appear to be used for one thing: redirecting callers to a phone-sex service.
People who might be looking for warranty information on their Escalades, seeking to get their cameras fixed, or hoping to find out if James Hetfield and the old crew are going back on tour will also find themselves connected to smutty phone sex lines. PrimeTel has taken over 1-800-Metallica, 1-800-Cadillac, 1-800-Minolta, 1-800-Cameras, 1-800-Worship or 1-800-Whirlpool.
(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS Radio and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)