IRS Scammers – iPhone Number Blocking

The New Year started out with a bang from those irritating spammers and scammers.  The modern day version of a thieving con man.  To be PC and non biased, better stated, a (Con Person). Screen copies are both from today 1/3/2017.  It would be hilarious if a million people called them collect and they were stupid enough to accept.

I have seen these go from simply worded, with bad spelling, and huge grammatical errors.  To these that are increasingly threatening in nature. These are the people our government should be protecting us from.  Seems like some simple changes to Service Providers systems would dry this up.

On January 3rd I first received a voice message.  A call that I did not answer.  Shortly after a text message that came.  From different numbers.  But both with a similar message and both had the same call back number.

I used to delete these.  Then I realized that is how this scam perpetuates.  No one takes the time or effort to even report it.  I have read numerous people fall for the scam.  This IRS scam is making scammers millions on a monthly basis.  Unfortunately many of the older generation, and the unsuspecting, are falling for the con.  As the con becomes more sophisticated I would imagine a greater chunk of the population is going to get fleeced.

This might be your elderly Grandmother, or young suspecting kids just starting out their adult lives.  Once these con men/people get your financial information or payment you can kiss it goodbye.  Chances of them getting caught is pretty remote.  They change phone numbers and use technology that provides bogus trails that help prevent anything leading back to them.  Or they are untouchable in another country.

Join the fight, to fight back.  Get on the Do Not Call Registry even though that is basically useless.  Then start filing complains each and every time someone attempts to victimize you.  Complain to all entities involved.  The Government, Your Phone Carrier, Your Internet Provider, the Entity the scammer is using for their front (i.e. the IRS), US Postal Service, and the FBI.  Some notifications and complaints are based on the source of your contact.  Was it a Text Message, Telephone Call, Email, something mailed to you?

Perhaps if the Government and Service Providers have to throw more money and labor at this, which takes money out of their coffers.  They might wake up take a more active approach to stopping this.  It seems simple enough if all Service Providers had a Reporting system that allowed victims or potential victims to report the numbers scamming them, then those numbers immediately put out of service by the Service Providers.  Without pressure or legislation things will probably not change.

What you can do to fight back under the current rules of engagement are:  The first thing recommended is to not answer unidentified callers.  First of all you don’t have to deal with talking to one of these crooks.  Con men of the current day are just as slick as those of yesteryear.  Secondly most phones record information you might wish to report.  iPhones and probably others now convert voice messages to written text.

Once you get one of these contacts it is highly recommended you don’t call them back and talk to them, or open up any Links within the text.  After reporting the crooks to the appropriate entities, block the number.  Then delete the messages.  Make complaints.  Provide the number that called you, the contact info you are suppose to call back to, or Email back to, and screen copies of the text info you received.

I can provide info for blocking on an iPhone running iOS 10.2

TO BLOCK A TELEPHONE NUMBER you were CALLED from:

1.  Open “RECENTS” Call list

2.  Tap the (circle i) off to the right of the number you wish to block

3.  Scroll to the bottom of the info displayed for that number

4.  Tap “BLOCK THIS CALLER”

TO BLOCK A TELEPHONE NUMBER you were TEXTED from:

This used to work pretty much the same on previous iOS versions but has now changed.

1.  Go to the text/message you received

2.  Tap the (circle i icon) off to the right of the number you wish to block

3.  Initiate a Call to the senders phone number from that sceen and immediately cancel the call

before the call goes through.

This will put that telephone number in the “Recents” Call list.

4.  Open “RECENTS” Call list

5.  Tap the (circle i icon) of to the right of the number you wish to block

6.  Scroll to the bottom of the info displayed for that number

7.  Tap “BLOCK THIS CALLER”

The old way of blocking a SMS Text message sender no long works where you used to be able to tap (Circle i) and select BLOCK.  Now the only option available from that screen is “DO NOT DISTURB”.  Using DND is not the same.  It does not block, only does not produce an audible notification of a text message.  The message still comes through.  So use the process listed above to Block Text numbers.

Useful Links for reporting.

DO NOT CALL Registry    The USA National site for registering your number and filing complaints)

IRS Complaint for Phishing  If the link doesn’t work Email your complain to phishing@irs.gov

Abuse@yahoo.com             If this link does not work Email To: Abuse@yahoo.com

Most Credit Card companies and Web Browsers use the same format:

Abuse@whatever.com

Cell Carries have a complaint link found on-line in your account for reporting such complaints.

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Phone or Tablet holder for your vehicle

If you can’t find a phone mount for your vehicle that suits you, read on. With a little imagination you can adapt some to the Arkon products to build your own mount for holding your tablets or phones for use as “Hands Free”.

My first mount was a telescoping affair that was held via suction to the inside of my windshield. It had a device mount on the end of it that held the older and larger iPad2. I have a full sized van. This arm mounted horizontal and extended over the dash board.

While this did indeed function, it vibrated a lot, lost suction often and fell off, plus the length of the shaft was maxed out right in front of my radio controls.

After a short while I set off to build a better mouse trap with materials I had to work with.

I had the Arkon mount that is sold on Amazon for $28. The mount extends from 14.5 inches to 18.5 inches, and has a suction base mount. I eventually had to change the device mount on the end of the arm from the iPad2 over to one that fit the iPad Mini as well as an iPhone6. That change was about $13. Other than the suction part of it I thought this would provide nearly all the parts I needed.

I then spent about $30 more on some hardware and Liquid Fiberglass Resin to create a more stable custom mount.

The following is an adaption for a full sized 2010 Chevy Express van. For some people this will only be food for thought to spawn your own idea for your own personal mount. Read through everything before you attempt this project.

I first started by drilling a hole in the bottom of the cup holder. This cup holder was the middle hole of the three cup holes in the engine cover between the driver seat and front passenger seat. The hole was made to allow a threaded rod to pass through. The rod length is cut to your desired length to include enough to allow a nut and washer on the bottom, and the extra up top to pass through the base mount of your tablet/phone mounting arm…dry fit everything before proceeding.

The cup holder was lined with plastic wrap for the pour molding stage. A fender washer placed on the plastic wrap at the bottom of the inside of the cup holder. The bolt installed as shown by gently cutting through the plastic wrap liner, adjusting the hex nut just above the washer inside the cup holder. That nut keeps the rod from dropping down. The fender washer and wing nut below (underneath side of the cup holder) tightened to secure it in place.

The 2 back-to-back wing nuts are tightened wrench hard against each other halfway up the cup dimensions….these wing nuts end up in the hardened resin to prevent the threaded rod shaft from rotating once everything is hardened and put into use. I had to use putty on the underside during the resin pouring stage to stop any resin from leaking threw. A little was wrapped around the rod on the underside of the cup holder before the underside washer and wing nut were tightened….don’t use too much. You don’t want it to squeeze up into the cup area. All the hardware inside the cup that is covered during the resin pour, remains in the resin after it hardens.

The very top washer and wing nut can be left off when doing the resin. I used the resin and hardener they sell at Home Depot. A quart will easily do it. A plastic quart mixing container sold in the paint department makes this an easy job. Add the hardener to the resin, mix thoroughly, then pour it level in the lined cup holder. You don’t have much time to mess with this stuff. Do this outside the vehicle if possible or protect everything with masked off plastic or paper. You don’t want to drip this resin on anything. Have everything prepped before mixing the resin and hardener.

Once hardened, remove the bottom wing nut and washer (Underneath side of cup holder), then pull the “Plug” you created out of the cup holder. Tear the plastic wrap off best you can. It will be wrinkled and stuck in the resin. I took an electric hand grinder/sander and cleaned up any rough or sharp edges of the resin plug.

The plug was then put back in the cup holder, and the bottom washer and wing nut tightened to lock it in place. This leaves a secure threaded rod sticking up to attach the device mount extension arm to.

On the base of the suction mounting shaft, I removed the lever mechanism that pulls to create the suction effect. Throw that away since it can’t be reused after this modification. I drilled up through the suction cup (left it on for cushion) and through the plastic so the threaded rod could protrude through the base. Lock that down with a washer and wing nut. You can adjust the swivel at this point.

This can all be easily removed should you not want it in the way. Just spin off the bottom wing nut and remove the bottom washer. Pull the whole thing including the resin plug.

I can mount my phone or iPad on the end of the arm and the spring-ed grabbing device. I plug my portable device into my radio and enjoy the hands free use of the phone/iPad that way. There is way less vibration and the thing has never fallen off (it would literally have to break off). I can reach around to reach my dash/radio controls. The arm is adjustable up and down, and at the bolt in the plug the swivel adjustment can be made and locked in.

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CHUCK BOX Toting your kitchen

Ever since covered wagons the Chuck Box has been a common term.  Before that, I am sure migrating people had a means to transport some of their precious spice items that were not easily obtained foraging natures surrounding supplies.

If you have camped many years you have probably changed out your own method of carrying your own staples.  Having your items with you, rather than being dependent on an inconvenient source to purchase (forage) your own items while camping.

My current method is below.  We hope people viewing our blog take the time to forward us photos of your own “tried and true” method. We want to add them to this article. So tell us a little about yours and about yourself.  Ours does not have the “coolness ” factor of a handcrafted wood Chuck Box, but ours is highly functional.  The boxes have been along on multi-day canoe trips, Dutch Oven Cooking events, and regular campground camping.  We have ours loaded so we are not wanting of anything.

We use 2 Stanley Fat Max plastic tool boxes.  They have a rubber seal, and latches.  We leave them on the picnic table at all times (unless in bear country) and have never had the critters get in them.  They also sit out getting rained on at times.  When we return home the used items are replenished and kept inside so they are always ready to go for the next trip.  Dry Ingredients such as flour, pancake mix, etc is rotated when we replenish.  We dump the unused portion out on foil. Refill the used portion from new supply in the house, then dump the older ingredient now on the foil, back in on top to fill our camp container.

The cooking ingredient box has individual screw lid containers that contain flour, sugar, coffee, etc arranged in the bottom. Cheap containers found at your local dollar store.  The tool tray sits on top of those and contains all the spices.  The larger containers in the bottom have all their lids labeled with what is inside.

The utensil box holds all of our cooking tools. Knives, Sifters, Mini Cutting Board, Mixing Bowls, Whisks, Serving Spoons.

Here is a list of items in my two boxes.  I cook with large groups and can cook or bake anything with what I carry.  Adjust your items to suit your needs.

Spice/Flour Box

(2) Containers of Flour

Sugar

Coffee

Brown Sugar

Vanilla Coffee Powder

Buttermilk powder

Oatmeal

Cornmeal

(8) 1/4 Cup containers of Crisco

Spray oil

Salt

Pepper

Cilantro Flakes

Garlic Powder

Onion Powder

Italian Seasoning

Paprika

Corn Starch

Baking Soda

Baking Powder

Nutmeg

Cinnamon

Ginger ground/powder

Nutmeg ground/powder

Clove ground/powder

Burger Seasoning

Chili Powder

Cumin Powder

Vanilla Extract

Sage

Dry Milk

Cayenne Pepper

Bay Leaves

Vegetable Oil

Dry Yeast

Recipes on index cards in a small plastic zip lock bag

Utensil Box

Mixing Bowl

Cutting Boards

Hand Mixer

Tongs

Serving Spoons

Several sets of Knife, Spoon, Fork

Oval Metal Plate

Butcher knife

Bread knife

Paring knife

Can opener

Wine/Bottle Opener

Measuring Cups

Measuring Spoons

Whisk

Scissors

Pot holders

Ladles

Wooden Spoons

Spatula

Biscuit cutters

Rubber Batter Scrapers

Butane Lighter Sticks

Spare Lantern Mantels

Aluminum Foil

Plastic Wrap

Sifter

 

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