Telephone Scammers Find New Ways to Reuse Old Scams

Most everyone has received one of those phone calls where the caller insists upon payment. Either they can fix your credit card debt, you owe back taxes, a family member needs your help, or some other bogus claim. Many people recognize these scams for what they are, but for some, especially seniors, the callers are convincing enough to seem legitimate. Thousands of people have been terrified by threats of violence or arrest, had their identities stolen, and been swindled out of their hard-earned cash. This is not a new trend. Telephone fraud has been a concern for years,, but lately scammers have found new ways to update and reuse old scams. As a consumer, it’s important to be aware of the latest developments in phone scams to protect yourself and your families.

New methods of payment

Traditionally, when asking for money, scammers have requested payment via Money Gram or Western Union, or have demanded direct access to the victim’s credit card or bank account information. Anti-fraud organizations and the media have tried to shed a bright light on these tactics, however, and consumers are wising up. Now, scammers are changing their approach as well. AARP warns its readers that Many scammers will ask for payment in the form of an iTunes gift card. They will tell consumers to purchase the card and then give them the 16 digit card number which allows the scammer access to the funds on the card. This method of payment is virtually untraceable and allows scammers the anonymity they need. If you receive a call asking for payment via an iTunes gift card, it’s most likely a scam.

IRS scams

IRS scams continue to be one of the most common types of phone scams used today. A consumer will receive a call from someone claiming that they owe back taxes and that the full amount must be paid immediately or he or she risks arrest. The caller will offer to take the payment right then and instruct the consumer that there isn’t time to contact a tax professional or attorney. The new twist on this scam, according to Forbes, is that the caller will invite consumers to pay using a prepaid debit card that is supposedly linked to the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System. The scammers hope that by mentioning the EFPTS, which is a real way to pay the IRS, consumers will recognize it and feel comfortable handing over their cash. Unfortunately the prepaid debit cards are not linked to the EFPTS at all, and the consumers have just been scammed. It’s important to remember that the IRS will not randomly call to inform you of back taxes and that you can always call them directly to check your tax status thereby avoiding a scam for taxes you do not owe.

You can reduce the amount of telephone scam calls you receive by getting on the Do Not Call Registry in the U.S. and the Do Not Call List in Canada. Scams will probably always exist, but the best way to stop them is by not allowing the scammers to profit. Be aware of the latest scam trends, and always check to see if a company or organization is legitimate before revealing personal information or completing any monetary transactions.

Thwarting scammers

  • One of the best ways to stop scammers in their tracks is to be careful.
  • Don’t believe that someone is who they claim they are.
  • Use a reverse phone lookup website to see where a phone number is location and who is calling.
  • Never make a payment via gift cards or give your credit card details to someone over the phone.


Smartphones Are One of the Best Ways to Get in Shape

Fitness is becoming an increasingly big part of the modern world. The initial rise of convenience foods and desk jobs has led to a need for a convenient way to deal with excess calories. A huge amount of people are waiting for a solution that actually exists right now in their pockets and purses. Smartphones are one of the best ways to track caloric intake and expenditures.

One of the reasons why it’s not so well known is that the setup can be a bit less than user friendly at first. For example, most phones can function as a pedometer. But a large number of them first require the user to install an app. It’s often an app right from the manufacturer or an affiliated company. But it’s still an added step which can only be acted on when people are in the know. Additionally, this component based system will often give an impression of functionality being missing from phones. Many fitness apps act more like a collection center for data. They’ll list something like hours of sleep as a blank space if there’s no data coming in. That data might simply require installing an app and answering yes when it asks to connect as a supported source of data. It can usually be taken as a general rule that most modern smartphones can track quite a bit of health related data all on their own. From showing which jogging paths are burning extra calories by going uphill, to helping remind people to get some more sleep.

However, the biggest health benefit from smartphones has to do with not needing to burn off extra calories in the first place. Even very old smartphones can link into a variety of different nutrition based services. Some of these do have paid access that will grand more features. But by default, there’s still some great options out there which are totally free. They also come with a variety of different strengths and weaknesses. People will need to look around a bit to find the best match for their needs. In general though all of the free services will cover the basics. And these are also the things that are the best match for smartphones.

These calorie tracking apps are far from a one to one match for looking up calories within lists or books. The biggest advantage is that the nutritional lists tend to be community maintained to at least some extent. If even a minor chain restaurant puts in a new item then it’s a given that nutritional counts will appear in most of the major calorie tracking apps. It might not seem like a huge feature at first. However, estimates are one of the single biggest points of failure with healthy diets. There’s often a huge amount of variation between two different recipes. One can consider the fact that even a tablespoon of oil will have around one hundred calories. And the typical recipe will often vary, plus or minus, by at least half of that. Often times there might be hundreds of calories difference between the same item made in two different places.

The community aspect also means that people can submit recipes of their own. This is great for personal record keeping. It’s easy to forget a recipe that one hasn’t made in a while. It’s also a fantastic tool for finding out about new healthy recipes. Plus, people who are going on a diet will find that community support from people going through the same journey will be a huge help.

The fact that phones are always on hand to enter that data into is part of why they’re such a fantastic tool for healthy lifestyles. People tend to assume that diets fail due to a lack of willpower. But it’s more accurate to say that it’s a lack of willingness to go to extreme lengths to eat healthier. Not many people want to take notes during during lunch so that they can later look everything up in a reference book. Totaling it all up in a leger at the end of the day has the same appeal as doing taxes. Being able to enter all of that data right as it happens is another thing entirely. It typically just takes a minute or less to enter a meal or workout into a tracker app.

On top of everything else there’s the added convenience of community support and automated functionality. Between the two it’s like having a personal trainer watching out for one’s health, 24 hours a day. The more one looks into the subject the more potential becomes apparent. There’s very few health related subjects that a smartphone can’t make easier.

Positive and Negative Contributions of Cell Phones

Innovation has led to the development of electronic gadgets that have had a positive impact on the lives of people. The cell phone is among the greatest innovations that have had both positive and adverse effects. Cell phones have changed over time from large and expensive devices afforded only by the rich people to small and affordable gadgets. People can communicate with each other effectively by using cell phones. There are various ways in which cell phones have positively contributed to the lives of people.

Positive Contributions of cellphones

1. Ease of Communication

Ease of communication is possible through mobile phones. In the olden days, people used to communicate physically. People had to meet or send messengers to deliver messages. Alternatively, people used to write letters, which took longer to convey messages. Presently, none of these ways of communication is used, apart from letters. How is this possible? Mobile phones have orchestrated this change. Now, a person does not have to travel long distances to convey a message. A simple phone call or SMS service will make this possible. People across continents are now communicating and transacting business efficiently.

2. Learning Efficiency

Mobile phones have made learning in institutions easier and efficient. Mobile phone manufacturers are developing gadgets that are internet enabled. Through the web, people are accessing a broad range of books and journals. These books are downloaded and stored in the mobile phone. The mobile phone is equipped with programs, which assist the learner read the documents directly. In fact, a student can record a lecture and later listen to the record or assist another student who might have missed the class.

Alternatively, people are using Bluetooth-enabled mobile phones to transfer data such as class notes among themselves. This makes learning very easy by eliminating activities such as printing and photocopying of class material.


Negative Contribution of cellphones

1. Usage by criminals

Not all people use mobile phones for the right purpose. Criminals are using mobile phones to coordinate their activities due to the simplicity of communication. Governments are also being accused of committing offenses by spying on the conversations people make through cell phones. In this manner, the right to privacy is violated.

2. Spread of Hate Speech

One way through which mobile phones are being used to the detriment of the society includes the spread of hate speech. People are interacting with each other through social sites on the internet. This has made people from all walks of life interact freely. Due to the nature of these relationships, people with ill motives now use the social sites to incite others. In most cases, incitement results in violence, loss of property, and death.

In the 2016 USA election, the country became divided along political lines. After Donald Trump won the election, violence was reported in many towns across America. The major contributor to this violence was incitement through social sites such as Facebook, WhatsApp Messenger, and Twitter. Interestingly, most people access these sites through their mobile phone.

3. Facilitate Criminal Offenses

Mobile phones have been used to perform criminal offenses such as stealing. The criminals of modern times are using mobile phones to plan and execute crimes. The criminals are using cell phones to notify their peers where law enforcers are and what they are doing. In this way, it becomes challenging for the police and other law enforcers to arrest such characters. Criminals are also notifying each other about possible targets through mobile phones.

Escape strategies are communicated, making it harder to track them down. In some cases, people are being blackmailed by criminals through mobile phones. For instance, a person may receive a deceiving text message about a particular event. In this way, duress may be applied to the victim to extort money or information.

Top Six Ways A Cell Phone Is Helping To Better Our World With Communication

A cell phone has become the preferred method of communication these days. The days when you used a phone with a cord and answering machine are long over. Cell phones have become a way of life for so many of us. In fact, 90% of Americans will not do anything unless they have access to their cell phones.

Holding a good conversation used to consist of talking face-to-face with someone. Now, most want to talk over their phones. Technology has really helped to open the doors to the way we communicate. Below you will find 6 ways a cell phone app can help grow your communication skills.

  • Do you do a lot of banking? Most of us do. There was a time when you had to spend a lot of time and money in order to conduct an everyday banking experience. Now you do not have to worry about this. Download your bank’s phone app and get your banking done.Now you do not have to make a trip out of your way to find your bank. Now you do not have to waste gas money and mileage for just a 5 minute trip to the bank. You can call up your banking rep and get your business done. You can also transfer money between bank accounts online on your phone. All you need is a WiFi connection and a bank and your job is done.
  • Cell phone apps help to save lives. It used to be that you had to wait until the emergency people arrived. Now there are apps that can help you take care of any emergency through your phone. Say you need to save someone’s life? There are apps you can use to help contain the situation until the emergency team arrives. It is that simple. There is something called an SMS for Life Program. It helps to deliver valuable information and life-saving tools to those living in rural communities. There is also an app that helps out with HIV Prevention. This app helps to deliver vital tools and information on the disease and how to prevent infection. It used to be that we got our information through pamphlets. These pamphlets still exist, but most people prefer to use the app.
  • Cell phone apps help you to connect with pretty much anyone around the world. Did you know that there are about 6 billion cell phone subscriptions around the world? Five billion of these come from developing countries. These apps can have a greater impact on those facing certain economic crises. A farmer can use an app to help him with his crop growing. He can find out how much he needs to make his quota. Once he finds this information out, then he can relay this information to his team. He can also find out where the strengths and weaknesses are in the soil. These types of apps are good for all types of things.
  • Just one cell phone app can help connect and respond to certain marketplaces. Say you need to find something for your business. An app can open up and tell you where you find what you need. An app can give you details on certain ads that may be preferable for your business. It is that simple. You do not need to make endless phone calls anymore to find something that can be found in 5 seconds.
  • You can also place an ad on somewhere like CraigsList from anywhere in the world. The ad goes live. Someone contacts you and inquires about what you are offering. You do not need to comb through endless paper ads anymore.
  • Cell phone apps can help you find jobs. This is one of the most popular features for users. You do not need to look through the paper anymore. You can go online to a “job site” app and look. There are endless listings. Some of the listings are not even being publicly advertised. You can only find them on the app. All you do is submit your information and wait. You’ll be connected to someone. They can tell you whether or not the position has been filled. No more waiting for a “no”.