Posts Tagged ‘#phone’

Scam Alert

News, Warnings | Posted by Dennis May 25th, 2012

WATCH out folks, and check on your elderly…. there’s a phone scam going on that’s worrisome.  A guy with an Indian accent is calling people, telling them their computer is infected and they need to take care of it.  He’ll make it sound like he represents Microsoft.  DO NOT listen, instead ask for company information, write it down, and report it to your state’s office of consumer affairs.  For Oklahoma, here’s a link These crooks are calling old people and scamming them out of money for junk software (and stolen licenses).  The information they give points to a site called Micro PC PCare, and it all APPEARS to be legitimate, but it’s not.  My poor client got scammed out of $60 when there was nothing wrong with her PC.  Her credit card wouldn’t stop the charge because she agreed to let them do it!   SHAME ON YOU VULTURES.  The name he gave was Victor Lamb.  The phone number listed was 877-753-5167.  Warn your friends and family! 

VOIP

Helpful Hints, Warnings | Posted by Dennis March 13th, 2012

Voice over IP, or VOIP, has become a major player in global communication.  Since about 5 years ago the ability to digitize, compress, and deliver audio across network lines has been refined.  The popularity of services like Skype and cable provider phones means that there is a big chunk of the Internet’s bandwidth being devoted to phone calls at any given instant.  Because of this and other streaming media, a lot of ISP’s (service providers) have started measuring and THROTTLING people’s bandwidth usage.  I laughed last week when I investigated a client’s new phone service.  For $20 per month per line they added a VOIP box to his existing cable company Internet connection.  It was cheaper than buying the lines through Cox, but he was less than happy with the service.  There are complications, you see, that depend on a lot more than the local phone copper lines.  There are a TON of new schemes out there, each promising ultra cheap phone lines.  BUYER BEWARE… do your homework before signing up.  A fine example is one that you’ll see on lots of TV commercials called MagicJack.  There are THOUSANDS of complaints about these folks, so I’m guessing it’s not worth it.  Besides, lots of people now have unlimited voice time on their cell phones (including long distance) so it makes this a moot point.  If you really need a nice way to communicate long distance over an Internet connection, try Skype.  It needs to be installed on both sides on a PC with at least a microphone, but it works great.  We may eventually see the end of personal land lines in the next decade, but businesses will stay for the long haul, I think. 

Okie Texting Scam

News, Warnings | Posted by Dennis December 2nd, 2011

WATCH OUT all of you in Oklahoma (and probably elsewhere)!  There’s a scam that made the news recently, and it targets your phone TEXT.  You’ll get a message that reads something like “OKLAHOMA FINANCIAL SERVICE ALERT” or “your Bank of Oklahoma card has been deactivated”.  It will give a number to call, at which point they’ll ask for your card number.  DON’T GIVE IT!!  It’s that time of year when these types of scams really ramp up.  They’re playing on your shopping fever and it’s the time of year when fraudulent charges slip through more easily.  Remember:  banks will NEVER ask for this kind of info, since they already have it.  When in doubt, contact them directly.  Thanks to KFOR in Oklahoma City for the “heads up”.

Find your Phone

Helpful Hints, Warnings | Posted by Dennis September 6th, 2011

Prey appIn a previous post I talked about spying on people via phone, but there’s a practical side to the matter: Finding Your Phone.  We’ve all used the trick of calling ourselves if we misplaced it, but what if it’s stolen or gone elsewhere?  iphone users have always had the  Find My Phone app, but they may not know that same app is available for the iPod Touch and iPad.  For Android users, there are a couple of options;  McAfee has a $19.95/yr service, or there’s a free app you can download called Prey.  Get it here.  Note that savvy thieves will pull the battery and Sim card first, but you still might have a chance to spot it.  These apps/services can also be handy for tracking your kids or elderly.  Some cell companies offer this type of service for plain cell phones (no smart-phone app).  Remember, if you want to use these things TRY IT BEFORE SOMETHING HAPPENS instead of after.  :-)

Installing Apps

Helpful Hints, Warnings | Posted by Dennis August 16th, 2011

OK, here’s advice for all you APP HAPPY folks out there; SLOW DOWN.  It’s easy to get carried away and install all kinds of stuff on a whim.  Like a kid in a candy store, it’s tempting to say “Ooooo I want THAT and THAT and OH YEAH SOME O THAT!” when you’re downloading to your PC or phone.  But if you’ll take it slow, one step at a time, then it’s a lot easier to find and troubleshoot  problem applications.  If you only install one thing, then shortly thereafter your phone or PC get really slow, or have weird glitches, then it’s easy to figure out what caused it.  But if you install 15 different things in one sitting, you’ll have no clue which app is causing problems.  By the way, free stuff for your PC ALMOST ALWAYS has a catch.  It either advertises, spies, or worse.  Sometimes it’s just a cut-down version of a full product.  READ THE REVIEWS before you install software on your PC!

Google and Motorola

News, Warnings | Posted by Dennis August 15th, 2011

Bad news for AndroidThe big news of the day is that Google just bought Motorola’s mobile phone division.  I think this is bad news for the Android market.  Google’s only vested interest, up until now, of supporting Android devices was to steer people to their CLOUD, with all its apps and the search engine, calendar, etc.  BUT with this latest acquisition I’m afraid that Open-Source may fall by the wayside.  Of course, they promise this won’t happen.  APPARENTLY at this point the main reason they did it was to help them in the multitude of patent lawsuits that have been leveled against them.  But NOW they own a phone company, why wouldn’t they leverage that?  I guess we’ll see.  Meanwhile you can read the full CNN article here.

Phone Hack technology

Helpful Hints, News, Warnings | Posted by Dennis July 23rd, 2011

Ya just never know...The Murdock scandal in the UK has a lot people asking HOW?!  There are four different technologies involved here ; 1) Voicemail Hacks are relatively easy if your phone supports checking with a 4-digit PIN.  (there just aren’t that many possible combinations so patience pays off)  2)  Random Air-wave Pirates can sit around, with the right equipment, and scan/listen to any and all cell phone calls emanating from a given tower.  This is difficult and yields very random results  3)  TAPPING is using a device or station to intercept your conversation or text, etc..  These are typically illegal without a warrant.  WARNING:  Smart phones can be SOFTWARE hacked within 5 minutes of being in someone else’s hands!  See an article here 4)  Cell Phone PINGS are GPS locators that are built in to phones, and required by the FCC since the 9/11 attacks.  The US Supreme Court is reviewing a case to decide if it should be legal for law enforcement to track people this way without a warrant.  (See more details here.).  NOTE :  These are all about privacy hacks.  There’s a whole ‘nuther topic about breaking into your phone’s operating system that is also referred to as a hack.  Anyone interested?  :-)