About Computers for Newbies & Everyone Else

August 1, 2017

Phone Spoofing

Filed under: Columns — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , — Ron @ 5:15 am

Time for Ron to do a little whining as two things have recently popped up that bug me.  I figure they may also bother a few of you.  They are local phone number calls and Facebook tracking us.  This week Phone issues, next week Facebook.

I posted to Facebook (this is not about tracking yet), and talk to people about it, when it comes up, that I am tired of all the “fake” phone calls I get from local numbers.  I feel like I should know them since they “look” like numbers of family or friends.  They are always from area code “540” with prefixes like “476,” “478,” “433” and others of local origin.

And many times, immediately before or after those calls, I will receive one from another toll-free number.  They are all obvious ads or scams.  When I do not answer, which was often and is now all the time, they rarely leave a voice message.  If they do leave a message it could be the IRS telling me that all of my resources are being taken as they speak.  My bank accounts, home, furniture and cars are all being taken for taxes I owe.  It may be an advertisement for a monetary investment, buying gold, funeral arrangement deals, insulated windows, cars, contests I have won, etc.

1 ringy dingy - Lilly Tomlin

Faking phone numbers is called “spoofing.”  Spoofing is when the caller knowingly fakes the data sent to your caller ID on your phone.  This disguises their real number.  It is usually used to trick the called person into giving away personal information for criminal reasons.  U.S. law and FCC rules forbid most types of spoofing.

You may say, “Well surely this is illegal in the US.”  But the FCC has the “Truth in Caller ID Act.”  This act states that they prohibit, “…any person or entity from transmitting misleading or inaccurate caller ID information with the intent to defraud, cause harm, or wrongly obtain anything of value.”   But guess what?  If they have no intention to harm anyone or cause anyone to be harmed spoofing is not illegal.  I would like to thank US lawmakers for allowing spoofers to call and bug me several times a day.  Since they rarely leave a message in my voice mail they are not harming me…other than mentally.

So I have a plan to fight number spoofing, in my own little way.  If anyone calls me who is not in my address book, (I only have a cell phone) I do not see their name on the phone display and they do not leave a voice mail message I do not answer.  I will then block the number and delete it from my phone.  That number will never be able to distract me again.  If it calls my phone it gets dumped into the void.

So basically, if you call me for any reason I suggest you leave a message if I do not answer.  I could be busy or maybe your name does not show up in my phone.  Either way if you leave no message you will be blocked.

Someone said that I may miss important calls.  For instance, from a doctor, hospital, distant relatives or regarding prizes won.  It has been my experience when “real” people want to get me they give a message so I will get back with them.  But whatever, after I block a few bazillion numbers maybe it will calm down.

April 15, 2013

2013-04-15 WSVA Show Notes

Welcome to this month’s show and sorry but it is also TAX DAY in the U.S.A.  So today more about that.  We had several callers and didn’t get to report on much new stuff around the net.

Read some info from sites mentioned and/or listen to the entire show’s podcast here.

Have a great day and see you next month.

Tech News
57 Year Anniversary of Commercial Videotape Recording
You could be forgiven for not having the 57th anniversary of commercial videotape recording marked in your diary, but YouTube is here with a reminder. Certain videos on the site now give you the option to watch them in "tape mode," bringing all the fun of static and fuzz to your modern viewing experience. It’s all in memory of the Ampex VRX-1000, which is commonly considered the world’s first practical videotape recorder and blew competitors away when it was shown off on April 14th, 1956 at the National Association of Radio and Television Broadcasters Convention. If you’d like to know more about the device’s place in history, LabGuy’s World has a transcript of lead engineer Charles P. Ginsburg’s presentation on its development.

Tax Time
Yes, that time of year again and I hope you are done with your 2012 taxes, but if not or you have questions about scams and on-and-on.  Check it out here.

Free TV shows for a price?
Access your local over-the-air channels – all the major broadcast networks and over 20 other channels – in HD quality.

Would you give it a try?

The Galaxy Mega and 6 Other Massive Phones
"…you can’t help but wonder what (if anything) would make someone consider holding a phone larger than a paperback to their ear for any length of time."

Consumers, however, embraced the larger screen and a year later, Samsung went even bigger – upping the Galaxy Note from 5 to 5.3 inches with the Galaxy Note II. Although a few other hardware manufacturers have followed suit, the Koreans continue to lead the charge, with the 6.3-inch Galaxy Mega representing the latest iteration of the design trend.

See you later.

Ron Doyle

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