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Thu, Apr 21, 2016 10:13 pm

DreamLab

Vodafone Foundation Australia provides the free DreamLab program to aid Garvan Institute of Medical Research researchers in solving problems related to cancer research using the processing power of idle smartphones. The foundation estimates that problems that are part of the cancer research puzzle may be solved 30 times faster if just 1,000 people use the app.

Help solve cancer while you sleep.

The Garvan Institute of Medical Research needs more computing power to speed up cancer research. Donate the power of your smartphone to help, with DreamLab - the flagship program of Vodafone Foundation Australia.

Download the app, choose how much data to give, and let your phone crack a piece of the cancer puzzle as it recharges.

The Garvan Institute of Medical Research is one of Australia's largest medical research institutions with over 600 scientists, students, and support staff. The institute conducts research on cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease as well as autoimmune and inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, asthma, and Sjogren's syndrome, a chromic automimmune disease in which the body's white blood cells destroy the exocrine glands. The institute developed a test that may predict the outcome of prostate cancer more effectively than the standard (PSA) test. Genetic research is conducted by the institute and in 2014 the institute became one of three organizations in the world able to sequence the entire human genome for less than $1,000 USD.

References:

  1. This new app helps your smartphone cure cancer while you sleep
    Date: November 9, 2015
    Electronic Products
  2. DreamLab app to help solve cancer | Vodafone Australia
    Vodafone Australia
  3. Garvan Institute of Medical Research
    Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Fri, May 01, 2015 10:16 pm

elemarketers spoofing calling numbers

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in conjuction with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) estabilshed a Do Not Call List. U.S. residents who don't want to receive calls from telemarketers can add their phone numbers to the FCC's Do Not Call Registry. Once a number has been added to the registry, telemarketers are not supposed to call the number unless one of the following conditions applies:

I've had our phone numbers on the registry for years. I believe adding the numbers may have reduced the telemarketing calls, but many telemarketers ignore the Do Not Call Registry. I have been filing a complaint through the FTC National Do Not Call Registry website whenever I receive such calls. I fill out the Submit a Complaint form after receiving such calls in hopes that if many others are submitting complaints regarding the same calling number that the telemarketing company will be fined for its disregard of the regulations that apply to them.

Lately, though, I've been finding that a large number of such calls are from "spoofed" numbers. E.g., today I received a robocall with a spiel that began with "This is Rachel at Card Holder Services". The spiel ended with a note that this would be my final notice, but I've been receiving such telemarketing calls from "Rachel at Card Holder Services" for months, each ending with the reference to a "final notice". The only option at the end of the spiel was to hit 9 to speak to someone. The person remarked about my desire to reduce my credit card rate; I said "No, I want to be removed from the calling list". I asked very politely, but the person immediately disconnected. I called the number that appeared as the calling number on my cell phone. After several rings, I received a recorded message typical of what you would find on someone's personal voicemail. I figured the telemarketer had spoofed the calling number and didn't leave a message, but a short while later I received a call from the person who had that number who was wondering who had called him and why. I told him about the telemarketing call and said I suspected when I heard his voicemail that a telemaketer had spoofed his number. He understood and mentioned he finds telemarketing calls annoying as well. The area code and first 3 numbers of his number matched those for my cell phone, likely because the telemarketer by using a number that would seem to be local to me would be more likely to have someone answer the robocall. Some people may avoid the plague of telemarketing calls by only answering numbers they recognize, but I use my cell phone for work and can't tell by looking at an incoming number whether it is a work-related call or an annoying telemarketer, since I can't know the number for everyone who may call me on a work-related matter and those calling on work-related matters may be in other parts of the country. Nor can one even reliably assume today that an area code reveals the geographical area of the caller.

As long as a significant percentage of people buy whatever a telemarketer is selling, telemarketers won't stop calling no matter how annoying most people find such calls. But someone would be exceedingly foolish to provide a credit card number and other personal information to some unknown caller offering to reduce one's credit card rate in return for providing such information to the caller. Since I've been getting such calls for months, I can only assume that a significant number of people do so, though. When I know the caller is ignoring the Do Not Call Registry, I assume that the caller's business practices are dubious at best. And certainly when the calling number has been spoofed, it would be prudent to assume that the caller is a scammer who may use any credit card number you provide for his own nefarious ends or sell it to others.

According to the FCC Caller ID and Spoofing page a telemarketer must:

Under the Truth in Caller ID Act, violators can be subjected to a penalty of up to $10,000 for each violation of the rules.

So what can you do in such cases? I filed a complaint for the above mentioned call via the FTC Do Not Call Registry complaint form. You can also file a complaint through the FCC's consumercomplaints.fcc.gov site by submitting a Phone Complaint. For the "Phone Issues" field, you can select "Telemarketing (including do not call and spoofing". It only takes a few minutes to complete the complaint forms and I filed a complaint in this case there as well.

Will filing such complaints do any good? The Rachel With Cardholder Services’ Coughs Up Refunds article published on January 19, 2015 on the ABC News site notes:

The Federal Trade Commission, the nation’s consumer watchdog, has reached a settlement with a collection of companies it says used that ploy. And now a special administrator is preparing to mail out checks to victims.

The total amount available to repay consumers is $700,000. The FTC says it is mailing out 16,590 checks this week. Each check will be for $42.95 and must be cashed within 60 days.

But that article also notes:

In fact, after the FTC took its first action against “Rachel,” investigators were frustrated when the calls continued, likely placed by other sketchy companies.

I'm not looking for a remuneration for the disruption to my work and wasted time from such calls, but I would like to see companies that ignore the Do Not Call Registry and use spoofed numbers fined and, hopefully, put out of business. I hope that others will also file complaints and that an accumulation of such complaints will lead the FTC or FCC to track down at least some of these companies and take action against them.

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Tue, Jan 07, 2014 2:56 pm

Telemarketing or scammer call from 717-203-8889

At 2:12 PM, I received another annoying telemarketing/scammer credit card call. When I answered the phone I heard a message about reducing credit card interest rates. There was a mention that the call was from "Cardmember Services". Since there was no mention of my credit union nor bank, it was obvious that it was not a call from my bank nor credit union. I hit "1" to speak to a representative so I could ask that the calls be stopped. When I was finally connected to a person, I asked her what company she represented in a friendly tone; the person immediately hung up without answering, so I couldn't ask to be removed from any calling list used. I then used *69 to get the calling number, which was 7172038889. When I called I heard the message "Please leave a message for. That mailbox is full." There was no person or company identified after the word "for". I've received many telemarketing calls where the caller is identified as "Cardmember Services" and don't know how many telemarketing companies or credit card scammers use that identification. If it was a telemarketing number, there was not a way for me to get the actual name of the company.

As I usually do in such cases, I reported the calling number to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission's National Do Not Call Registry website, since my home phone number is in that registry, thus telemarketers shouldn't be calling my number. Unfortunately, many telemarketers ignore the list, apparently feeling that nothing will be done to them if they ignore the list. Perhaps that is true; I don't know how limited the FTC's resources may be for pursuing such companies. I can only hope that if enough complaints are filed for a particular number that the FTC will investigate and at least fine a few of them, though I'd like to see such companies put out of business.

I think anyone who would answer such a call and provide a credit card number to the caller is either a fool or extremely naive, since providing credit card information to an unknown caller may provide an opportunity to a scammer to use that information to use the credit card information for nefarious purposes. But since I've frequently received such calls, apparently such telemarketers/scammers find a fair number of people willing to do so.

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Thu, Oct 31, 2013 11:27 am

Senior Assistance Telemarketer

Our home phone number is on the U.S. federal government Do Not Call list, but that doesn't stop some telemarketers from calling, even though people who have added their phone numbers to the do not call registry are unlikely to do business with some company that calls them in spite of their numbers being on that list.

I received a robocall with a spiel about an opportunity to receive $3,000 in free groceries with no option to have our number removed from the company's calling list. I could only hit a button to speak to a representative, which I did. I asked for the name of the company and was told it was "Senior Assistance" something. When I complained about the company ignoring the do not call list, I was told that I had opted in to receive such calls. I've heard that excuse before, which I regard as bogus, since I don't opt in to be contacted by third parties when I register any personal information with companies or organizations. Companies that ignore the do not call list likely often tell employees to use that excuse to placate people who call and complain about their annoying telemarketing calls.

When I used *69 to get the calling number, I found it was 323-281-1384. At 323-281-1384 / 3232811384 at the 800notes site which provides a directory of unknown callers where people can report such calls, I found other people on the Do Not Call registry complaining they also received such calls.

I filed a complaint at the National Do Not Call Registry Submit a Complaint page as I usually do when I get such calls. I can only hope that enough other people file a complaint there that the Federal Trade Commission may take some action against the company, though I'm doubtful that action will be taken, or, if it is that any fine would be stiff enough to make ignoring the list untenable for the company.

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Wed, Sep 26, 2012 9:08 pm

Annoying "Card Member Services" call from 407-476-5700

My wife has been getting annoying "Card Member Services" calls on almost a daily basis. Today I hit *69 to get the number from which the call was being placed. The number was 407-476-5700. I hit 1 on the phone's keypad to speak with someone who claimed, when I asked him what company he worked for that he worked for the dubiously named "Card Member Services" company. I informed him that I was on the government Do Not Call list and that he shouldn't be calling. He hung up and I reported the calling number at the National Do Not Call Registry website, since our home phone number has been on that list for years. I also called the calling number where one of the options was to enter my phone number after the beep to have the company take our number off their list. There was no beep, but I entered the number anyway.

I found many others reporting such calls from 407-476-5700 over the last few months at 800notes Directory of Unknown Callers 407-476-5700. I found postings there from others on the government "Do Not Call" list and postings from people stating that requesting the company remove their number didn't put an end to such calls.

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Fri, Mar 30, 2012 3:29 pm

National Do Not Call Registry

If you, like me, don't like receiving telemarketing calls and live in the U.S., the federal government maintains a "National Do Not Call Registry" that telemarketers are supposed to refer to before calling phone numbers. If a telephone number is on the list, the telemarketer is not supposed to call the number. You can add your phone number to the list by pointing your web browser to the National Do Not Call Registry website.

Unfortunately, some telemarketers ignore the list. If they do, you can file a complaint at the complaints page. You will be asked to provide the number that was called, the approximate time of the call, and the calling number, which you may be able to get by Caller ID or by hitting *69 on your phone immediately after the call has ended to get the time of the last incoming call. You will also be asked to provide the name of the company, if you know it.

I received an automated call today telling me I hadn't responded to prior offers to reduce my credit card rate and this would be my last chance. I hit "1" on the phone to speak to someone. When I asked for the name of the company I was told it was "Branch Card Services", which is probably not the real name of the company for which the telemarketer or scam artist I spoke to works. When I asked where the company was located, he immediately hung up. I hit *69 on my phone and found the number from which he was calling was 971-220-1771. I then went to the National Do Not Call Registry website and filed a complaint, since my phone numbers have been on that list for years. A company that ignores the list is subject to being fined by the government for ignoring the "do not call" list.

When I looked up the number on the Intelius reverse phone number lookup site, I found the location for 971-220-1771 listed as Gresham, Oregon. Of course, such companies can employ Caller ID spoofing techniques to hide the true number from which they are calling, so the number you obtain from Caller ID or *69 isn't guaranteed to be the number from which the call was placed.

You might wonder who would be foolish enough to provide a credit card to someone who calls when you have no means of verifying the caller's identity and no way of knowing if he isn't just a scam artist collecting credit card numbers to sell to others or use himself. Obviously, such calls must work, though, since I often receive them. I can usually get the person on the other end of the line to give me a company name, all of which have sounded rather dubious. Sometimes, I can even get the person to give me the location from which he or she is calling. In one instance, when I told the person that I shouldn't be getting such calls because I'm on the "do not call" list, she asked me how she could get on the list; I told her to go to donotcall.gov.

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Sat, Jul 08, 2006 10:08 pm

Numbers to Dial for Information Associated with a Phone Number

If you need to determine the telephone number associated with a phone, you can call your own phonemail number, leave a message and then check your messages and, if the system provides callers' numbers, get the number you called from or you can dial MCI's 1-800-444-3333 number. An automated system will read the number you are calling from to you.

If you need to know the long distance carrier associated with a phone line, you can dial 1-700-555-4141 from the telephone you wish to check. You will hear an announcement telling you the name of the carrier.

And according to the sprint gives out customers data when you call article posted on digg, you can call 1-877-785-8414, which is a Sprint customer service line, put in any Sprint customer's phone number and get the full name and street address of the account holder. The number you are calling from doesn't matter.

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Thu, Jun 10, 2004 1:52 pm

How to Determine the Long Distance Carrier on a Line

You can determine the long distance provider for a phone line by calling 1-700-555-4141 from the telephone you wish to check. You will hear an announcement telling you the name of the carrier.

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