Glossary of Terms in Prank Calling
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A lazy, uncreative soundboard-maker who blatantly copies the sounds and other attributes from an existing soundboard made by someone else, rather than make the effort to record their own sounds from the original source, such as a movie or TV show. The stolen audio files, etc. are then used to make their own copy of the soundboard, with which they attempt to claim credit for the whole thing, as if it was their idea all along. Some of the worst ones may even sell such pirated soundboards for profit as mobile apps, which is a copyright violation and quite likely illegal, especially if it includes any celebrity content. Jayuzumi is one infamous example of an audio thief.
A telephone accessory, developed in the early 1990's, which displays and stores the name and phone number of the person making an incoming phone call. At one time, it threatened to make prank calling a thing of the past, but fortunately, pranksters soon figured out ways around this, such as spoofing and VOIP calls. It is possible to find out the details of someone who called you just by knowing their phone number with one of these resources
A prank caller, often a neophyte, who, instead of finding his or her own victims, will instead, engage in harassment of victims discovered by others. Often, such calls are poorly-executed, show a lack of originality and go too far, by calling the victim many more times than they deserve. Frank "Duncan" Garrett, for example, eventually received hundreds, even thousands of such calls by copycat pranksters from all parts of the world, after persons unknown posted his number on YouTube for all to see. For this reason, copycat calls tend to be frowned upon. In recent years, both Bail Bondsman and California Crook were victims of many low quality copycat pranksters.
However, it should be note that there are exceptions. Some victims are made famous by follow-up calls not done by their original caller, though generally these calls are done by established pranksters who also have a wide array of original victims. Some examples include Xaozzz with Frank Garrett (originally discovered by W3baholicX), and AntiVenom9808 with the Harlem Barber (originally discovered by Doubleogordo44).
See Prank Call.
Last Call Return
See Star 69.
A form of extreme, internet-based prank, in which the victim is tricked into typing in any web address ending with "dot-on-dot-nimp-dot-org/" (don't try it, obviously), which, when activated, spawns an endless flurry of fast-moving pop-up windows displaying various shocking images (such as Goatse, Tub Girl and heavily mutilated corpses/gore) and attempts to upload viruses and malware onto the victim's computer. This is accompanied by the loud sound clip: "HEY EVERYBODY!!! I'M WATCHING A GAY PORNO!!!" playing in an endless loop. This is sometimes used in conjunction with prank calling, in which the prankster will trick a victim by phone into getting nimp'd and then record their reaction to it. Chris the Hacker was once the victim of such a prank.
Generic term for most law enforcement agencies and the arch enemy of all prank callers. Nearly all prank victims will threaten to involve them at some point. See Police article for more info.
A form of practical joke committed over the telephone, often with the intent of causing the victim aggravation and/or confusion.
Prank Calling Community
A loose confederation of prank callers and prank call fans who congregate on websites such as Realm of Darkness, EBaum's World or Jackulator 9000, where they exchange soundboards and recordings of prank calls they have made. Sometimes, individual pranksters have been known to collaborate on prank calls to certain victims. Also known as the Soundboard Prank Calling Community.
When a prankster calls the victim back, usually almost immediately, after they've been hung-up on by them. Prank call videos will often feature multiple redials of the same number.
A popular peer-to-peer VOIP and internet chat program, which is often used for prank calling purposes. Also has a video conferencing function. As of October 13, 2011, it is now owned by the Microsoft Corporation.
A computer program, usually created in Adobe Flash, which allows sound clips to be played at will, by clicking on a representative icon on the screen. Usually, these are voice clips of celebrities taken from movies or of past prank call victims, cut from previously recorded pranks.
Soundboard Prank Call
A prank call made in which a victim is called and then talked to with a soundboard. Usually, a big part of the gag is tricking the victim into thinking that they are talking to a live person, but it can occasionally be just as humorous when a repeat victim realizes that they've been arguing with a recording (especially one of their own voice).
Soundboard Prank Calling Community
Soundboard Prank Calls Wiki
A technique utilized by pranksters to avoid having their prank calls traced, in which the victim's caller ID is made to display false information, such as a made-up name and telephone number (or occasionally, another victim's name and number, causing them to get the blame for the call).
A feature offered by telephone companies, which when dialed by the recipient of a prank call, automatically requests a trace of the last call received. Unlike star 69, the number of the person who made the call is not given to the victim, but is instead (in theory at least) given to the proper authorities for investigation (though most often, nothing comes of it). Star 57 is easily blocked and like star 69, does not work on VOIP calls.
Also known as Last Call Return, star 69 is a feature offered by telephone companies, that when dialed, gives a call recipient the time and originating telephone number of the last received call. It may also offer the option of calling the person back. Star 69 is often used (or threatened to be used) by victims against prank callers. However, it is easily blocked and does not work on VOIP calls, such as those originating from Skype.
An extreme form of prank call in which an attempt is made to trick an emergency service (such as a 911 operator) into dispatching an emergency response team, such as a SWAT Team (which is where the term derives its name from), fire or paramedics, to a location where no emergency exists. Generally frowned upon by most as "going too far", as such pranks often lead to increased scrutiny of the Prank Calling Community at large by law enforcement and could possibly prevent someone with a real emergency from getting help. Chris the Hacker was once the victim of such a prank, involving the Belmont Fire Department.
Text To Speech
Also called TTS for short. A computer voice synthesizer program, which allows the computer to speak words that have been typed by the user with an electronic voice, which can be made to sound male or female, young or old. With a few exceptions, the voices often sound flat and the computer tends to mispronounce certain words, using the wrong voice inflection in key places. Often used by prank callers who wish to have a frank conversation with past victims without revealing their real voices, and occasionally, for mischief. Shit Talker is one of the more popular such programs. Chris the Hacker was a victim of multiple TTS calls in the past.
A form of prank calling involving a 3-way conference call between the prankster and two separate victims on different phone lines. Sometimes, the prankster will merely listen in on the two confused victims talking to each other and wondering what happened, other times, they will take a more active role. For example, they might call somebody new with a soundboard of past victim, then when the new victim gets good and angry, conference in the actual person whose voice was on the soundboard and then listen in on and record the resulting verbal melee. Chris the Hacker, Duncan and the Angry Cab Driver, among others, have been victims of three-waying in the past.
Victim Prank Call
A kind of soundboard prank call which utilizes sound clips of a previous prank call victim. Occasionally, this involves calling a previous victim with a soundboard of their own voice (which they often fail to recognize as themselves). Most often, however, they are used against a new victim, who might then be made into a soundboard themselves if their reaction is humorous enough, in an example of the domino effect.
Acronym for "Voice Over Internet Protocol". A VOIP program is a piece of computer software that allow for voice chats and telephone calls to be placed from computers over the internet to normal landlines and cell phones or other computers. VOIP programs of various makes are often used for prank calling, due to the fact that they lend themselves readily to soundboard use (since they're both on the computer) and are extremely difficult for anyone other than the Police, military or other law enforcement agencies to trace and will usually display a random number on a victim's caller ID. VOIP calls are also far cheaper than regular phone calls and allow pranksters the opportunity to call victims in other states and even other countries, which they otherwise would not be able to do; often for free or at a very, very low cost. Skype is a popular VOIP program used by many pranksters.
A popular free video sharing site, now owned by Google Inc. The majority of prank calls available over the internet have been posted to this site in video form, which has allowed them to reach a far larger worldwide audience than would otherwise have been possible. This has lead to a surge in the popularity of soundboard prank calling in the last few years. Occasionally, the popularity of YouTube prank call videos has had some negative effects: victims' phone numbers (Duncan's in particular) have been posted in the comments of videos, causing them to receive far more harassment than they deserve by copycat pranksters, and it is not unheard of for a victim (as well as law enforcement) to discover the videos of prank calls made to them (often after being tipped-off). YouTube can be accessed here.