Air made hazardous to breathe because of wildfire smoke means nothing to the creeps who want to steal your identity and your cash. The attempts at telephone scams just keep coming, and the question is why the phone companies don’t make them stop.
The scammers have learned to trick you into picking up the phone or answering your smartphone when a call comes in. They make it appear that the call is coming from someone you know, or at least from someone in town. The caller ID shows a phony number, but one that looks like it’s local, along with a phony name.
My favorite is the one with an accented voice announcing that they have detected fraudulent activity involving your Social Security number, and press 1 if you want to find out more. This is a close relative of the call that announces they have a warrant for your arrest, and you better respond or dire consequences will ensue.
Most people getting these calls hang up. That’s obvious. But a few apparently don’t. If nobody ever fell for these tricks, the scams would stop.
But why is it possible for the scammers to fake the numbers from which these calls are made? If caller ID can be fooled so often, and by criminals at that, what good is caller ID? Surely the technology exists to prevent people from disguising the number from which they’re making a call.
The phone companies can’t be blamed for particular crimes committed by means of their wires or their cell phone towers. But they should be held responsible for failing to fix their systems so that the caller-ID feature they are selling can’t be fooled.
What does this have to do with hazardous air? (The PM 2.5 reading Monday afternoon in Albany was 394.) Well, annoying calls from thieves are doubly annoying when you’re stuck inside because the air outside is dangerous to breathe. (hh)