PhotoThe phone rang and an angry African-American man accused me of hitting his car. "Your dented my fender and broke my taillight, b, yes you did," the caller said.

The call was convincing enough that I halfway believed it, even though I had placed it myself on PrankDial.com, a website that lets you place a dizzying array of prank calls to your friends and enemies, and to perfect strangers, for that matter.

But not surprisingly, we've heard from a few consumers who didn't think the prank was very funny, like Josh of Middleville, Mich.

"I received a call from a local number saying that I had adult porn movies and I needed to return them," Josh said in a ConsumerAffairs posting. "I have a young daughter and what if she would have answered my phone and heard this? And before I knew it was a prank, I was getting very upset and stressed out. This website should be illegal."

Horseheads haw-haw

Lorraine of Horseheads, N.Y., was embarrassed in front of her children.

"I received a call. My 12-year old son and I heard it in front of kids ranging from 1-15 years old, [the caller] stating that he was very upset because he is my neighbor, and I stole his newspaper. ... I was so upset and shaking, this call just had me in tears in front of all the children," Lorraine said. "Then at the end, I was told it is a prank, that I had just been PrankDialed.com. How is that funny?"

Perhaps the scariest call was placed to Sarah of Waconia, Mich.

"They called and said that they were the government and that because I downloaded the Wikileaks cables, I was gonna be indicted on charges that would imprison me for five years and charge me a $250,000 fine," Sarah recalled. "I called the police and Verizon Wireless. I felt threatened and assaulted. I will be looking into who owns this website and would want them shut down."

But not everyone thinks the calls are all that offensive. 

"This is a fun little service that tries to put things in place so it's not abused too much," said Anthony of Cleveland. "But all of the people reviewing this clearly need to focus on actual important things in life rather than being offended at some obviously fake recording of a person they are taking to."

You could certainly build a case for saying PrankDial should get a life and go do something worthwhile. On the other hand, the site has nearly 300,000 "Likes" on Facebook and, used in moderation, might bring a chuckle or two. You get two free calls a day and some of us just might place a couple of prank calls to ourselves now and then, just to keep the day moving along.

For those of us who field what might sometimes be called crank calls, a plain old prankcall is quite a bit more entertaining.  


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