My Utopia: phones can track phone scammers

So, I received an interesting phone call yesterday. It was number 4 this week – by the same people.

It always starts the same:

‘Good morning madam, my name is Charlie and I am calling from the Telstra technical department about your internet connection’

‘I don’t have any account with Telstra and I don’t use their services’

‘Yes but Telstra provides the infrastructure that provides your internet services and that is used by other companies’


‘ok, even if that’s the case, why are you calling instead of the company I am with? And, I should also tell you I have not experienced any problems with my internet’

‘I need access to your computer’

‘No. And please stop calling.’

Now, this conversation has been repeated at least 7 times in this month, 4 of those times this week. Yesterday they managed to get a hold of my dad (he answered the phone) and had him worried there was something wrong with our internet service. They would not listen to him when he told them we did not have services from their company and would not leave him alone so I had enough.

The next time the phone rang I answered it, and the man repeated the same opening line

‘Good morning madam, my name is Charlie and I am calling from the Telstra technical department about your internet connection’

‘Listen, I’ve had enough of your calls. I have told you before to stop calling. Your continuous calls now constitute harassment and since you say you are from Telstra I am going to report you and your manager to your company. Give me your full name’

At this point he started panicking and the man next to him (both speaking with an Indian accent) started whispering what to say.

‘Give me your name’

‘Uh…yes..yes ok…I will give you my name…i will spell’s Charlie S-U-C-K’

‘S-U-C-K?’ fine. What is your manager’s name?’

‘Y-O-U, S-U-C-K’

‘well, aren’t you clever? aren’t you funny? well how about this then? I’m going to track where you are calling from and report you to the police. Don’t call here again!’ and hung up

I wanted to write this post because there are some vulnerable people out there, like my parents, who might just believe these shifty and lying creeps. I learned this lesson the hard way a few years ago when I fell for a similar trick, (except they said they were from Microsoft) and when I gave them access to my computer they gave me a virus. Thank you ever so much.

In my Utopia, every phone would  come with a tracking device that records these kinds of calls and tracks them down so when you report it to the police, they can find these criminals who prey on people with limited technological knowledge.

To those phone scammers, you may think you are very funny and clever but one day you might end up being scammed on the phone. This is my goodbye to you phone scammers: Y-O-U  S-U-C-K

My Utopia – consideration for others

I have always been an idealist dreamer, even as a child, and I suspect it will never change. Now, as an adult, I often find myself thinking about the state of the world around me and what I would do if I had the power to change it. Usually this is a reaction to something I see or hear or experience that conflicts with my inner sense of what my ideal world is like.

I thought to myself, just wishing the world is different will not make it so. Instead, I am going to try to think of a potential and realistic alternative to the incidents that cause me to dream of my utopia.

The incident that prompted this blogpost occurred a couple of days ago while my father and I were driving around 11 am. It was a busy main street but the traffic wasn’t bad and the cars were all moving along nicely. Suddenly we heard the loud siren of an ambulance several cars behind us so we we immediately moved lanes to clear the way for the ambulance. I am happy to say that most of the cars around us did the same and the ambulance progressed. Not all the cars did so though. some of the cars further ahead did not bother to move until the ambulance had to slow down behind them and halt it’s speedy progress to go help the poor individual waiting for it.

I watched those cars wondering why they didn’t move. They simply kept going, at the speed limit, in a leisurely fashion until the ambulance had been forced to follow them for about a minute and then they switched lanes to clear the way. Their path was not obstructed in any way. They had plenty of room to move into another lane or at the very least speed up because they had a clear road ahead of them. I was disgusted. If it had been their family member waiting for assistance from the ambulance, I’m sure they would have liked cars on the road to clear the way for the ambulance. But no. They were not in a hurry to move.

Well, here is my proposition. Instead of leaving ambulances at the mercy of traffic and obnoxious individuals, why not have an ambulance/police/firetruck lane on every road? In my Utopia, it is logical to have a lane on every street dedicated for the brave people who come to our aid. Cyclists have their own lane. Even buses have their own lanes on some streets. So why not a lane for our social services?

What do you think? should we have a lane dedicated to such services?

‘Not A Typical Tourist in Israel and Jordan’ book quotes and snapshots

It can be quite difficult deciding whether to buy a book or not. A blurb gives you some idea of the plot line, reviews let you know if others have enjoyed it and a sample allows you to decide for yourself if you will like it or not. But let’s face it, samples are often several pages long and you might be pressed for time and just want a quick sharp sample before making your decision.

That’s when I thought, what if I start posting short sample paragraphs and quotes from my book? Then people could get a feel for the writing style, tone and what the book is about in a quick and easy way.

So here is the first quote 🙂

‘There is something alluring and seductive about Jerusalem. It is as though it is shrouded by a veil of mystery that promises adventure, exotic spices and souks (charming open aired markets).’

Happy Reading!

P.S. ‘Not A Typical Tourist in Israel and Jordan’ is available on Amazon, through my facebook page and also can be purchased directly from me through an email or message request.

Born in the wrong era…

Call me old-fashioned but I do so enjoy making eye contact with other humans and engaging in a stimulating conversation. Alas, the art of conversation (and it is an art form which takes skill) is slowly but surely disappearing. But forget conversation, even the basic skill of making eye contact with other people is on its way to extinction. In 50 years we may be watching documentaries about how people used to look at each other and talk instead of texting/messaging/emailing/facebooking/tweeting each other.

You may be wondering what has brought on my lament. Well, it was actually a car with those mini tvs in the back of the driver and passenger seats. And the car with the tv that comes down from the roof. Also, seeing toddlers playing with their parents iphones and unable to engage with people around them using basic and vital communication skills. Not to mention people on trams/trains and buses with their headphones plugged in or watching or playing things on their ipads. If you chance to ask them a question like ‘Excuse me, is the next stop Fictional Station?’ you’ll be lucky if they make eye contact at all. And don’t get me started on the teenagers who sit next to each other having a conversation (without looking at their friend) while listening to music on their ipods in one ear.

Have we really come to this? We have become victims of our own technological advancements. Can we really not go anywhere in a car without watching tv? Can we not talk to another person without listening to music at the same time? What happened to playing games of i-spy looking out the window of a car or train?

You might be thinking I am a grumpy old woman with 30 cats complaining about today’s youth. Well, not quite although I do have a cat..and a dog. I am 26 and find myself bewildered by the extent of technology taking over our lives. Perhaps I am the only person under 50 lamenting the good old days? I was probably born in the wrong era…

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