Small Talk That Foils Phone Crooks

TELECOMMUNICATIONS INDUStry analysts estimate that nearly $1 billion will be lost to calling-card fraud this year. Most crooks just eavesdrop or watch carefully at public telephones, sometimes with binoculars, to steal the numbers of unsuspecting strangers. But Preferred Telecom Inc. has a high-tech system to thwart such low-tech "shoulder surfing."

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