Man Claims He Was Victim of Prank Service

     MINNEAPOLIS (CN) – A man with agoraphobia and generalized panic disorder claims in court that he was victimized by a prank dialing service that called and accused him of ordering two full-figured strippers.
     Defendant Prankdial.com offers a wide range of pranks to users who can arrange to have someone called and accused of just about anything from soliciting sex and subscribing to porn to defrauding the IRS and failing to pay bar tabs.
     Other pre-recorded messages include solicitations to have sex with the call recipients mother and notification that as a result of a mix-up at a sperm bank, the recipient is Jewish.
     In a federal complaint filed in Minnesota, plaintiff Troy Scheffler claims he received a pre-recorded message from an “unknown” caller accusing him of leaving his contact information to place an order for strippers with “Big Girls Adult Entertainment.”
     Exactly one hour later, he received another pre-recorded message falsely claiming that plaintiff had ordered 20 pizzas, the complaint states.
     Scheffler says Prankdial.com, which is operated by defendant Tapfury LLC, tried to entice him to answer again by repeatedly using a spoofed phone number.
     Later that day, Scheffler says, he approached a friend and accused him of making the prank calls. He says when he realized his friend had nothing to do with the calls, he became embarrassed and distressed.
     The calls from Prankdial.com resumed the next day, when Scheffler received a message accusing him of calling another man’s wife. Scheffler says he received the last pre-recorded message about fifteen minutes later. In that message, a woman claimed to have a secret crush on him.
     PrankDial website states “PrankDial is the world’s number 1 prank calling service. Our patented voice recognition software will make your friends think they are speaking to a real person!”
     According to the Prankdial.com website, a person can choose from hundreds of prank call scenarios and receive two free calls per day.
     It also states on its website that prank calling is legal and that ” Prankdial.com uses the utmost caution in crafting pre-recorded messages that are funny yet benign. Prankdial.com says it also limits prank calls after 9PM by not giving free users access to the service after that time.”
     However, paying customer may place a prank call after this 9 p.m. deadline, according to the website.
     Prankdial.com says it does limit how many times a person can be pranked, according to its website. “PrankDial should be used for fun, not to inconvenience or harass anyone. For that reason we have created limits on how many times you can call a certain number per hour and per day,” it states on the Prankdial.com website.
     But it was not all fun and games for former Hudson County Jail Deputy Director Kirk Eady in another case involving Prankdial.com.
     In March 2015, Eady was sentenced to 21 months in prison after being found guilty on wiretapping charges using Prankdial.com’s “Evil Operator” function, which has now been removed from Prankdial.com’s website.
     Evil Operator allowed customers to initiate and record a conversation between two people–while the two callers are led to believe the other person on the line made the phone call, Hudson County view reports.
     Eady recorded conversations to find out private information about the Policemen’s Benevolent Association and Edpdlaw.com, the Hudson County View reports.
     Scheffler seeks statutory and punitive damages for violations of the Telephone Consumer Practices Act and invasion of privacy.
     He is represented by Peter Nickitas of Minneapolis.
     Representatives of the Prankdial.com said they were unaware of the lawsuit and declined to comment further.

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