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Author Topic: Fake and Stolen Callsigns  (Read 11891 times)

Posts: 6

« on: December 02, 2002, 08:15:23 AM »

I recently upgraded my license (early November) and purchased my first HF rig shortly thereafter.  I had developed a curiosity and affinity for CW from the very first didah of my learning software and from hours of listening in on CW ops with my Heathkit receiver.  Finally, I was able to actually operate on-air and after getting my nerve up (took about 3 whole days), I called a CQ.  My first CW experience with another op was fantastic!  Thanks goes to N9YZS for his patience and kind words of encouragement and if you are reading this, the QSL cards are in the works and one will be sent asap.

I'm sorry to say though that since that date, November 20th, I have been "had" twice.  One was an op using a non-existent callsign (GM3LR) and the other, just last night, was an op using someone else's callsign.  I discovered this when I checked the database to get his callsign to send a QSL card - none of the information matched.  I contacted the op and he stated that he has not been on air since 1999 and was also upset that someone else would be using his callsign.  I am positive that I had the callsigns correct in both instances as I diligently copy every letter during the exchange to paper.  

I guess my questions then are -
1.  Has anyone else experienced this and if so, how often?
2.  What, if anything, did you do about it?
3.  Is this a common problem, or have I just had an unusual start?
4.  Should I report this and if so, how and to whom?

73 and hope to work you soon,



Posts: 21764

« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2002, 01:00:31 PM »

This happens very rarely.

As for being absolutely certain you've copied the other station's callsign correctly: No matter how certain you are, you might still be mistaken.  Incorrect copy occurs for many reasons, including sloppy sending on the part of the station contacted, and might explain your two recent events.

I make 100-250 CW contacts a week, usually (and maybe 1000-3000 in a single weekend, during a contest), and my experience with "fake and stolen callsigns" is very, very small.  Hardly happens.  However, my experience with "busted callsigns" (calls I just didn't copy properly, for one reason or another) is about 1% of all contacts made.


Posts: 290

« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2002, 11:32:00 PM »

I had a similar experience about 8-10 years ago with a station using a non-existant callsign.  From my QTH here in Kentucky, I found myself working a 10 meter mobile in Southern California using the callsign W6USM (United States Marines).  He was a very good operator and was travelling on I-10 between Riverside and Palm Springs, an area I know well as I once lived in Riverside, CA.  We chatted for better than an hour about many things of common interest to those who are familiar with this area of Southern California.  It was one of those QSOs where I wanted to send a QSL card thanking the guy for a great and, interesting contact.  Unfortunately, the callsign W6USM was not in any callbook then, nor the FCC database and it is still not listed today.  I wonder how many others might have worked W6USM, an operator who obviously was very familiar with ham radio procedures.  

Tom, KR4BD
Lexington, KY

Posts: 6

« Reply #3 on: December 25, 2002, 11:05:08 PM »

Hardly seems worth the effort.  Ham licenses aren't so hard to get nowadays.  I always wonder.  I've monitored the freebanders who put up the antennas and have bought IC706's and radios like this, and why if you're going to go to all that trouble not take the test?   What is with these guys?

Posts: 2

« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2003, 09:38:20 AM »

Hello Dee,

   Yes, I hate to say it, but it does happen. We have a local Technician licensed (No code ham) here in the Conroe area, that likes to get on the HF frequencies and use a SK's call sign. The SK, had passed away over 5 years ago. The worst part about is this guy was a friend of the SK. And to make things worse, the Tech had also went in to the QRZ database and created a profile for the SK to his own liking. The way I found out was, I was scanning through 75 meters one night, heard the signal and recognized the voice from the local repeater. After waiting and listening to see which call sign he used, to my suprise it was one that was highly recognized throughout the local area, but was the SK's call. After he did finally ID, I got on the air to let him know that I was there and listening, (I knew he would recognize my call and voice), he never said another word. What really makes this tick me off is that he was at another hams house, and with the resident ham sitting there beside him, was letting all of this go on. Well the following Monday I called the FCC and talked to Riley himself, and low and behold, there was nothing that could be done about it since it was not recorded. And this is with having at least 2 other people on the same frequency listening, (after I called them), as witnesses. So I just basically gave up. So yes it does happen and probably always will, and they will get away with it no matter what happens. So much for the system.

                  Tnx Tommy

Posts: 1524

« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2003, 08:58:53 PM »

I was reviewing my own log the other day and it looks like my very first CW contact was also with a bogus call.  Never did find him/her in any callbook or (since then) any of the online listings.

Posts: 338


« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2003, 02:55:24 PM »


3000 CW contacts in a weekend? It boggles the mind!


Posts: 7

« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2003, 04:32:13 PM »

Let's see... 3000 contacts on a weekend!... 48 hours from 8pm Fri nite to 8 pm Sun nite... thats 2880 minutes...Whaoo.. One per minute + on CW for 48 STRAIGHT HOURS!!!..hummmm I DONT THINK SO..and if you did you won the contest, Hands down! As far as fake call signs, have never had the pleasure in my 30 + years of hamming.. but then again, I usually don't exchange QSL cards. Thanks for the time and the exercise in math. OVER!

Posts: 73


« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2003, 07:29:48 AM »

Sorry BWO, but you obviously do not operate contest very much? It is not uncommon to have run rates in excess of 200 QSO's per hour, which is only 3.3 contacts per minute. One can seldom maintain that rate for long periods of time; if you could, for 48 hours, then you would have 9600 contacts. All depends on your contest station, your operating skills, and propagation!
Try it sometime. If you have any competative spirit at all, bet you will be back again.

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