fat finger dialing

fat finger dialing
n.
A telephone scam in which a company sets up a toll number that is one digit different than a popular number, so that the company earns money when customers accidentally mis-dial the legitimate number; mis-dialing a phone number in this manner. Also: fat-finger dialing, fat fingers dialing.
Example Citations:
But state and federal regulators say Homrich and his son Eugene are two of the latest consumers to fall prey to a trick known as "fat finger dialing."
It works like this: A caller dials a number like 1-800-COLLECT to make a collect call but misspells the word or hits an incorrect button. He accidentally dials something like 1-800-COILECT.
The call is connected — but not by the company the caller planned to use, which in Homrich's case was MCI. Instead, the call is carried by a company that secures 800 numbers similar to those advertised but charges much higher rates.
— Rosalie Rayburn, "Wrong number," Albuquerque Journal, September 18, 2003
AT&T has sued Sprint and two other rivals for allegedly stealing calls from AT&T toll-free operators through what is called a "fat-finger dialing" scheme. AT&T says Sprint, One Call Communications and ASC Telecom have dozens of toll-free numbers that are similar to those of AT&T's operator-assisted service. "Consumers who inadvertently dial one of defendants' numbers have been deceived into using defendants' services," the complaint says.
— "HealthSouth to Miss Payments," The Washington Post, March 28, 2003
Earliest Citation:
Joel Drizen noticed something didn't look right on his phone bill, a four-minute collect call placed to him by his brother three miles away using what he thought was 1-800-COLLECT. The cost: over $16. A charge almost three times higher than he expected from a company he'd never heard of before, ASC Telecom.
After investigation, they realized that he dialed 1-800-COLLECT with three L's as opposed to two L's. ...
Mr. ROBERT TOLCHIN (Plaintiff's Attorney): ASC is basing its entire business model on what they call fat fingers dialing. That means they're going to take advantage of people who have fat fingers and mis-dial the telephone.
— Matt Lauer, "Mis-dialed collect call schemes," The Today Show, April 4, 2002
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Look at other dictionaries:

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