Lenka Reznicek

FCC Wants To Fine Pair Of Idiots $25K Each For Faking Caller ID Of Prison, School To Harass Ex-Wife

Spoofing — the practice of sending out fake caller ID information to disguise the caller’s real identity — is legal, so long as it’s not done to deceive or harm anyone. Reporters, victims of domestic abuse, human rights organizations, all legally use spoofing to protect their locations or sources. This sort of trickery is definitely not allowed when it’s deployed just to make harassing phone calls to your ex. [More]

Investigators: Driver In Fatal Tesla Autopilot Crash Was Speeding

Investigators: Driver In Fatal Tesla Autopilot Crash Was Speeding

As federal safety investigators continue to investigate the first fatal crash allegedly involving Tesla’s autopilot feature, a preliminary report found that the vehicle was speeding before the collision. [More]

jpghouse

Woman Out $250 After Falling Victim To Comcast, Amazon Fake Promotion Scheme

Consider yourself warned: Scammers are taking advantage of the recent news that Amazon is selling access to Comcast services, faking calls from the cable company to steal money from unwitting victims.
[More]

Listen To A U.S. Senator Try To Get Bogus $8 “Protection” Fee Removed From Cable Bill

Listen To A U.S. Senator Try To Get Bogus $8 “Protection” Fee Removed From Cable Bill

You’d think that being the senior U.S. Senator from Missouri would help Claire McCaskill get better service from her cable company, but you’d be wrong. As this recording demonstrates, the legislator has just as much trouble as the rest of us trying to get anything resembling decent service from her pay-TV provider. [More]

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Verizon Wireless Hangs Up On You When You Record Them Back

One might think that if a company wants to have a conversation with their customers, once they’ve got them on the phone they’d stay on the line long enough to actually talk to them. But that wasn’t the case for one Consumerist reader, who said a Verizon rep hung up on him when informed that the customer would be recording their call. [More]

Even Anonymous Users Can Be Identified With Only Two Pieces Of Data From Social Media Apps

photographybynatalia

If you think you’re evading the constantly tracking eye of the Internet by using throw-away email addresses and obscure screen names to register your social media accounts and other apps, you’re probably wrong. A new study demonstrates how simple it can be to correctly identify someone using otherwise anonymous data. [More]

Taber Andrew Bain

Wells Fargo To Pay $8.5M For Recording Calls Without Telling Customers

California law requires that, before any party involved in a phone call can record the conversation, all parties must be made aware they are being recorded. Violations of that law can get quite costly; just ask Wells Fargo, which has to ante up $8.5 million to close a state investigation into the bank’s repeated invasions of privacy. [More]

Student Loan Companies Tell Congress: Debt-Collection Robocalls Are In Borrowers’ Best Interest

(thisisbossi)

Show me someone who supports robocalls, and I’ll show you someone that has very few friends. Which is why it’s baffling that the Senate has yet to act on a bill introduced last fall that would close a loophole allowing the government to make debt-collection robocalls. But you know who does support robocalls? The student loan companies that are currently trying to convince Congress that these invasive annoyances are really for our benefit. [More]

(frankieleon)

Credit Card Processor For Work-At-Home Scam Companies Settles FTC Charges

When you respond to an ad promising untold wealth if you start an at-home business, someone in a call center will contact you and try to extract your credit or debit card number. There needs to be a credit card processing company involved to run that transaction, though, and the company that did so for the Tax Club work-at-home scam operation has now settled up with the Federal Trade Commission for its role in the scam. [More]

Diabolical IRS Phone Scammers Call SWAT Team, Tell Victim They’re There To Collect

Diabolical IRS Phone Scammers Call SWAT Team, Tell Victim They’re There To Collect

IRS phone scams, where the perpetrators call up victims and demand that overdue taxes that they don’t owe be paid by prepaid debit cards, are cruel schemes that vacuum millions of dollars out of the pockets of people who don’t know any better. The only way they could be worse would be if they actually endangered victims’ safety while wasting law enforcement time and taxpayer money. They’ve figured out how to do this. [More]

Looking Ahead: 5 Big Issues To Follow For 2016

frankieleon

Now that 2015 is done and we finally learned that Luke Skywalker is actually Faye Dunaway’s daughter (and sister!), it’s time to take off the party hats, sweep up the confetti, and do the walk of shame forward into the uncharted territory of the year to come. [More]

(alexkerhead)

Phone Companies Can Filter Out Robocalls, They Just Aren’t Doing It

Even in an age when everyone has Caller ID on their cellphones and landlines, when more than 200 million numbers are listed on the national Do Not Call Registry, our phones are still inundated with unwanted auto-dialed and prerecorded calls. And though state and federal regulators regularly shut down illegal telemarketing operations, it can seem like a game of Whac-A-Mole, with new robocallers popping up to replace the old ones. [More]

Target Believes Porn That Played Over California Store’s PA System Come From An Outside Source

Target Believes Porn That Played Over California Store’s PA System Come From An Outside Source

A few weeks ago, shoppers at a California Target received an unsettling surprise when the unmistakable sounds of professional coitus aired loud and clear over the store’s PA system. While an investigation into the incident continues, the retailer believes the pornographic audio originated from an outside source.  [More]

(frankieleon)

Trade Dispute About Dental Devices Could End Up Changing The Future Of The Entire Internet

The entire future of the internet may now depend on some plastic retainers. Specifically, two competing versions of those clear plastic alignment systems adults sometimes get instead of braces. And if that sounds weird — which to be fair, it really is — well, welcome to the strange, utterly pervasive world of IP law in a digital century.

[More]

(Miss Conduct)

Company Caught Switching Customers’ Phone Service Without Permission

So your phone company calls you and says there’s a new plan that can save your on your phone bill, or maybe to let you know that you’re being overcharged for your current service. So you go ahead and switch to the more sensible plan, only to find out weeks later that you’ve actually been switched over to a new service provider you’ve never heard of — and to a plan that costs more than your old one. This was a reality for dozens of people who complained to the FCC about a Michigan-based company that now faces a potential $2.4 million fine. [More]

Verizon’s Refusal To Repair Landline Service Leaves Elderly Man Without Phone For Months

(Alain Ferraro)

While plenty of Americans rush to acquire the latest and greatest in new telecom technology, there are some that only need the basic phone service they’ve had for decades. But as we’ve seen on multiple occasions recently, a number of traditional landline users are being left out in the cold as Verizon tries to transition customers away from copper line service and to fiberoptic phone lines. And for one elderly New Yorker, Verizon’s apparent inflexibility resulted in months of having absolutely no service at all. [More]

Court: You Have No Right To Privacy When You Butt Dial Someone

Court: You Have No Right To Privacy When You Butt Dial Someone

Today in issues we never thought a court would weigh in on: if you accidentally pocket dial someone, pulling the move we all know as “butt dialing,” don’t expect anything you say during the call you don’t know you’re making to stay private.

[More]

(FastFords)

Police Chief Totally Messes With Phone Scammer Telling Him He’s Won $7K From The Government

A scammer peddling magical $7,000 rewards from the government chose the wrong person to try to dupe: A police chief in Indiana filmed his phone on speaker while a stranger explained to him that yes, the government does just give people “free grant money” for no reason, and that he could get his money at Western Union.

[More]