Social engineering, social troubleshooting

HR staffer complains to support pilot fish that her voice mail isn’t working properly.

“She had me listen to her voice mail, which does have several messages in a row where I hear nothing before the click of the calling party hanging up,” says fish. “She wants to know why the voice-mail system isn’t recording messages.”

Fish tells her that he thinks the system is fine -- the calling party just isn’t saying anything before he hangs up. But she insists that can’t be it, because she’s getting so many of them.

Fortunately, fish knows the voice-mail system has a caller ID feature that will announce the number of the caller if the right key is pressed during playback.

So it’s once more through the HR staffer’s messages, this time checking the number for each one.

And they’re all the same.

“I had her open up Google and put the number between a set of quotation marks,” fish says. “We found out all the blank messages came from the same number -- a job applicant she had turned down for a position.

“She praised me for being so smart and figuring out her voice-mail problem.

“I guess the guy didn’t want to take no for an answer and wanted to talk to her live.”

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Copyright © 2008 IDG Communications, Inc.

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