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1-800-Chicago? It’s a porn line

Over the past 13 years, a Philadelphia company called PrimeTel Communications has quietly gained control over nearly a quarter of all the 1-800 numbers in the United States and Canada.

For instance, when the Cook County Jail canceled its toll-free inmate-information line, PrimeTel grabbed it the moment it became available. Soon enough, the number was ringing into one of 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.

For instance, call 1-800-Chicago, and instead of reaching, say, a tourism hotline, you’ll hear a woman offering “one-on-one talk with a nasty girl” for $2.99 per minute. Same for 1-800-Metallica, 1-800-Cadillac, 1-800-Minolta, 1-800-Cameras, 1-800-Worship or 1-800-Whirlpool.



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