Phone Losers of America

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Phone Losers of America
Phone Losers of America logo.svg
The PLA Logo
Purposee-zine/Phreaking/Prank call
HeadquartersAlbany, Oregon
Region served
Brad Carter
Known for
The Snow Plow Show
PLA Radio
Voice bridge

The Phone Losers of America (PLA) is an internet prank call community founded in 1994 as a phone phreaking and hacking group. Today the PLA hosts the popular prank call podcast the "Snow Plow Show" which it has hosted since 2012.


The Phone Losers of America were founded in 1994. The PLA text files continued until mid-1997. In 2002, RBCP began an internet radio station which he called PLA Radio which still exists today as The Snow Plow Show, along with a discord channel.

The e-zine[edit]

The PLA e-zine was originally distributed electronically via a dial-up BBS, with an option to buy the magazine and have it shipped by mail. The e-zines ended in mid-1997.

The Snow Plow Show[edit]

The Snow Plow Show is a comedy podcast featuring prank calls by the host, RBCP. The show is a part of the Prank Call Nation network and releases episodes at least twice a week. Shows are often influenced by the listeners in the Prank Call Nation chat room.

PLA Radio[edit]

In early 2001, RBCP started releasing almost-monthly audio comedy shows called PLA Radio. The shows feature comedy skits, commercials, parodies, and pranks. The show is released as a podcast and has been featured several times on iTunes and is regularly listed in the Top 10 on Podcast Alley.[citation needed]

PLA Community Forums[edit]

The PLA community forums are administrated by RBCP, and were established on March 21, 2006. There are currently over 1,600 registered users, with over 50,000 posts on topics mostly related to the PLA.

PLA: The Books[edit]

In 2010, the Phone Losers of America book was released. [1]

In 2011, a second Phone Losers of America book was released, called Phone Losers of America: The Complete 'Zine Collection. This book was an archive of all of the original issues of the PLA e-zine, in a mostly unedited format.

The PLA giving their panel at the 2004 Hackers on Planet Earth convention.


A "Cactus" has become the PLA's mascot, as well as catch-phrase. The origin of the word dates back to an old prank call by RBCP, where he would say nothing but the word "cactus," over and over. In common usage, It can be stated with a question mark "Cactus?" or as an exclamation "Cactus!" Similar "Cactus" themed prank calls are often made by PLA members. Themed prank calls were often made under the pseudonym, Mildred Monday, a reference to a woman Brad often prank called.[2]

Legal issues[edit]

In early November 2016, Carter reported that the FBI performed an early-morning raid on his recording studio, resulting in a temporary seizure of all technical equipment. The raid was triggered by an attempt to access customer profiles at numerous retail stores across the country, primarily Safeway, of which some were utilized for prank phone calls.[3][4] The case was treated as a federal matter, and was presided over by Judge Marco A. Hernandez of the Federal District Court of Oregon.[4] On October 16, 2017, Judge Hernandez sentenced Carter to eight months of home detention, followed by five years of probation. Carter must pay $19,600 in restitution to Safeway as a consequence.[5] The sentencing came after Carter accepted a plea agreement with the prosecution. Despite the plea deal, Carter remains a convicted felon.


The PLA has regularly received a fair amount of attention from the media, beginning with a front page article in the Sunday issue of the Belleville News Democrat on September 3, 1995.[6] An editorial was written several days later, followed by another front page article on the PLA a week later.[7]

The website and zine received regular write ups in computer magazines such as The Net, The Web and Internet Underground throughout the 1990s.[8] PLA received national attention in 2002, through a segment on Tech TV and then once again in 2005 when RBCP was interviewed live via satellite on CNBC's On The Money.[9][10] PLA was also interviewed in 2005 for an article about Wal-Mart in the Boston Herald.[8]

In August 2015, the Columbia Daily Tribune in Columbia, Missouri featured the PLA in an article about a series of "strange calls" received by local residents who had signed a petition against a crosswalk construction project.[11] The article quoted an FBI representative who allegedly told the Tribune that the calls to Columbia residents "would likely be prosecuted on the local level."[11] However, no prosecution of the calls ever occurred.


  1. ^
  2. ^ "View PLA Issues". Phone Losers of America. 2007-01-09. Retrieved 2016-12-27.
  3. ^ Weisberg, Brent; staff, KOIN 6 News (2017-07-12). "Accused hacker to appear in federal court". KOIN 6. Retrieved 2017-07-21.
  4. ^ a b "United States v. Bradley Carter | Plea Agreement Letter | United States Federal Sentencing Guidelines | Plea". Oregon District Court. 2017-06-16. Retrieved 2017-07-21.
  5. ^ Bernstein, Maxine (2017-10-16). "Prank calls to Safeway customers backfire on Youtube blogger".
  6. ^ {{Cite news|url=
  7. ^ "View PLA Issues". Phone Losers of America. 2007-01-09. Retrieved 2016-12-27.
  8. ^ a b "Press Page". Phone Losers of America. 2011-01-28. Retrieved 2016-12-27.
  9. ^ Brad Carter (2007-01-05), Tech TV clip, retrieved 2016-12-27
  10. ^ Brad Carter (2008-03-13), On the Money - Corporate Terrorism at Wal-Mart, retrieved 2016-12-27
  11. ^ a b "Strange calls about College Avenue project were YouTube prank". Columbia Daily Tribune. Retrieved 2016-06-04.

External links[edit]