Check your Preprogrammed Area Code 919 (North Carolina – Durham and Surrounding Areas)

Eastern Wake News is reporting that 2 years after the introduction to 10 digit dialing, there still about 100 dispatches by 911 operators from hang-up calls.

Calling 911 and hanging up often results in an officer being dispatched to the phone number’s listed address.

While many calls have been attributed to people dialing the 919 area code and accidentally hitting the “1” twice, there are apparently a large number of fax machine calls.

If you have any area code 919 and North Carolina fax numbers programmed into your fax, now would be a good time to double check that they’re entered correctly.

More from Eastern Wake News – 911 hang ups a continued problem

Fax case could be headed to the supreme court

A small publisher could receive a fine of up to $48 million for sending faxes to a client who agreed to receive them.

As their faxes did not have an “opt-out” option on them, the FCC has ruled that the fine is in place – even though the client had elected to receive the communication.

The publisher is currently fighting the fine, and the case could end up in the supreme court.

More from the Star Tribune at High-stakes case pits small firm against plaintiff’s bar, FCC.

With a small office and a fax machine, even you can claim to lead a rebel army

Taken from a larger piece in the Irish Times about a retreat of a group of Syrian Rebels:

“Diplomatic sources also say the “Free Syrian Army” is a name disparate local militias adopt without co-ordinating action or putting themselves under the command of Col Riad al-Assad, a defector based in Turkey who proclaimed the founding of the Free Syrian Army last year. He is said to have an office and a fax machine but no staff or troops.”

That’s correct, with a small office and a fax machine, even you can claim to lead a rebel army, even if you have no staff or troops.

A small reminder that even for the entrepreneur currently working out of the laundry room, sometimes having the right presentation can make you appear a lot larger than you actually are.

For the whole story from the Irish Times: http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/world/2012/0302/1224312635542.html

Fax – The Exhibition

Showing at Utah Museum of Contemporary Art from Mar 2nd to June 23, 2012 will be the exhibition “FAX”. It is a traveling exhibition curated by João Ribas, and co-organized by The Drawing Center, New York, and Independent Curators International (ICI), New York.

From the exhibition’s page:

“FAX invites a multigenerational group of artists, architects, designers, scientists, filmmakers and writers to reconceive of the fax machine as a thinking and drawing tool. Participants transmit their fax-based work via the venues’ working fax lines through the duration of the exhibition’s tour. Faxes by nearly 100 participants sent to the initial showing of FAX at The Drawing Center form the core of the exhibition, with each institution inviting additional participants to submit works, which will then be archived with The Drawing Center’s collection to create an evolving document of all participants. The accumulation of information-received in real time, in the exhibition space-includes drawings and texts, and the inevitable junk faxes and errors of transmission, creating an ongoing cumulative project.”

It brings to mind a lot to think about, from methods of communications to how messages get sent and interpreted.

As well there’s an interview from KCPW with Aaron Moulton, the Senior Curator of Exhibitions.

According to the interview, they’ve also hired broadcast fax companies to send out 1,000,000 faxes to English speaking fax numbers with the Arthur Schopenhauer quote “In order to understand what is true you must also understand what is not true.” – interesting to imagine the size and scope of such a project, and would be interesting to see any fax replies they’ve received from it.

A good stop for anyone near Salt Lake City in the next few months!

The official exhibition page: http://www.utahmoca.org/fax/

UMOCA Senior Curator of Exhibitions Interview with KCPW: http://kcpw.org/blog/cityviews/2012-02-29/cityviews-3112-the-abbey-collectionfax/

Curator’s Page on the Exhibition: http://joaoribas.blogspot.com/2009/09/fax.html

FAX artbook from the exhibition: http://www.artbook.com/9780942324389.html

Featured in City Weekly: http://www.cityweekly.net/utah/event-113463-utah-museum-of-conte.html

The Best Way to Contact the Post Office? Fax

As told by the Tampa Bay Business Journal in “Pinellas congressman uses fax to pressure postmaster”, a recent victory for St. Petersburg, Florida happened when the local congressman faxed the postmaster general to keep the local postmark.

A good example that in a world where bureaucracy and email are becoming overloaded, sometimes the clearest way to get a message through is to use a different form of communication.

For the entire story, see http://www.bizjournals.com/tampabay/blog/morning-edition/2012/03/pinellas-congressman-faxes-postmaster.html

IRS Warning on Fax & Email Scams Directed at Tax Filers

As tax season arrives, so do new scams.

The IRS is currently warning tax filers of a series of fax & email scams directed at them.

People are receiving faxes and emails that claim to be from the IRS that detail either a change in their tax returns or some sort of additional refund.

With that email or fax is also a link or internet website that then tries to either exploit the user’s computer maliciously, attempt to have the user sign up for some sort of promotional offer, attempt to get personal information from the user, or attempt to sell refund or credit schemes.

The majority of current scams appear to be directed at recent credits in educational tax credit legislation.

The IRS claims that they do not “initiate contact with taxpayers by email to request personal or financial information.”

For More on This Story:

City Council Member Faces State Ethics Charge Over E-Mails

With yet another reminder of the need to separate the use of business and personal activities, a Wichita City Council member is currently facing a state ethics charge over e-mails.Kansas Map

Kansas state law prohibits the use of public equipment to advocate or campaign for any public office. This includes the use of computers, emails, and fax machines.

It’s an issue that frequently comes up, and demonstrates the need that most people need to have an online fax service for those times when faxes need to be used.

For More on This Issue:

KWCH.com – Wichita City Councilman facing ethics complaint over emails

Kansas.com – Wichita City Council member O’Donnell to face state ethics charge over e-mails

Windows XP Still the Dominant OS, Vista & 7 Support Extended to 2017 and 2020

Windows XP Still Dominant OS

In news from the world of operating systems, Windows XP is still the dominant operating system on the market, with market share just over 47% 6 and a half years after its successor Windows Vista and 2 1/2 years after the next successor were released.

While it’s been losing steady market share (although seeing a small increase in January of 2012) to Windows 7 (which has the ability to emulate Windows XP), XP is likely to remain a dominant operating system for some time to come.

Support for XP is expected to end April of 2014, however Microsoft has been relatively regular in pushing that date back, and as XP remains as a major operating system, it is likely that it will still be supported in order to ensure that bugs and viruses in the system are properly patched to preserve the reputation of Microsoft.

For more on Windows XP Market Share:

Windows Vista and 7 Support Extended to 2017 and 2020

Microsoft has also extended its support for Windows Vista to 2017 and Windows 7 to 2020.

An interesting move as the official release for Windows 8 is likely in the very near future, expected for sometime this fall, it’s an interesting to note how far back support is being extended for existing product.

Seattle Time – Consumer support extended for Windows 7, Vista

ZDNet – Microsoft extends support for Vista and Windows 7

Network World – Microsoft Extends Windows 7, Vista Support to 10 Years

Vacation Season Brings Travel Scams

CBS 21 News recently put out a travel scam warning that should be repeated.

Airfare, vacations, summer rentals, and vacation rentals are what appear to be the primary focus on this summer’s travel season.

Scammers frequent online classified ads locations such as forums and craigslist, as well as send out spam emails and junk faxes to advertise the perfect vacation at the perfect price.Vacation Picture

The problem is – all too frequently these “perfect” vacations turn out to be complete scams.

There are usually two reasons scammers will advertise these offers – the first being to get people to wire them money – either as a deposit or for full payment on a vacation that does not even exist. Sadly, too many people respond to this and send money to complete strangers on the idea of a deal without having any idea where their money is really going.

The second type of scam that happens with this method is that the people offering the scams are looking for personal information – either credit card numbers and birth dates, or are just trying to confirm if a fax number or email address is actually in use. Many times an unsubscribe number will be used to get information about which fax numbers are valid, and which have actual faxes at them. This information is then packaged and sold to other marketers who use it to send even more information and marketing material.

Whenever booking a vacation, it’s best to make sure you do the research before fully booking the trip. Get to know the person you’re booking the vacation through, and if possible use credit cards as it is perceived that they offer better protection in case your personal information is stolen, or the information is use to purchase a trip that never exists.

For dealing with complaints about trips such as these, information can be registered with the Attorney General at www.attorneygeneral.gov, or through their Bureau of Consumer Protection at 1-800-441-2555.

More on Junk Faxes and dealing with nuisance faxes can be found on our page about Junk Faxes.

27 Junk Faxes Could Cost $432,000

Interesting FCC documents recently filed showing the process of the FEC going after a junk fax broadcaster, the FCC is currently attempting to find a software training company liable of sending 27 junk faxes to advertise its business, in an unrelated but similar situation, they are also doing the same for an employee benefits group for 97 junk faxes.

The cost? the FEC is currently looking for $432,000, or $16,000 per junk fax for the software training company, the maximum for that type of violation. On a relative note, the employee benefits group is getting off a little easier on a per-junk-fax basis, with a total fine of $603,000, or $6,216 per junk fax – based on $4,500 per junk fax, and $10,000 per junk fax after a request had been made to stop sending the faxes.

Details of the claim include the FEC’s position that the company was cited for previous junk faxing before being fined. The company’s response to the citation that is was no longer in business, however according to the FEC, there was a link between the individual(s) behind the company and a similarly named company that resurfaced in the FEC’s junk fax complaint line soon after.

The release from the FEC is a good read for as a warning for anyone considering using a broadcast fax service.

Another very important note from these filings is the easy way that the identity of the sender was able to be confirmed by confirming the transmissions from the carrier – an important note for any legal issues involved with transmitting messages and confirming the identity of the sender and the receiver – as the identity of a fax sender can be confirmed much easier than email or other electronic communication can.

For the entire FEC release, see http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2012/db0223/FCC-12-23A1.pdf and http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2012/db0229/FCC-12-24A1.pdf

Wells Fargo Wires Scammer $2.1 Million (or, why you should never post signatures on a website)

Through a series of fraudulent faxes, it appears that Wells Fargo has been scammed out of $2.1 Million by wiring money to a Hong Kong bank.

From documents released, it appears that money was wired from a Catholic Healthcare West account at Wells Fargo to a “Tektil Trading UK Limited” in Hong Kong.Wells Fargo Bank

The interesting thing about the situation is that the account had a number attempts in over a number of days, some involving the potential sale of securities.

Over these days, as well as later on, there were a number of other attempts to move the money through a wire, however they failed as the receiving account either did not exist, or the the transaction involved selling securities, which would have taken more time and authorization.

Wells Fargo has reimbursed the company’s account, and is currently working with law enforcement to recover the money from the fraudulent faxers.

It appears that the signature to authorize the wire came from the scammers copying it from a document that was publicly posted online by the Healthcare group. Another reminder of the importance of keeping documents especially with signatures off of pages on the internet.

For more on this story:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/janetnovack/2012/02/27/wells-fargo-bank-gives-scammer-three-tries/

http://www.mercedsunstar.com/2012/02/28/2248877/wells-fargo-scammed-out-of-21.html

http://www.finextra.com/news/fullstory.aspx?newsitemid=23476

Win a Cruise Contest over a Fax Machine? Probably Not…

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!

A good reminder on Wink News in Fort Meyers Florida that there are a number of cruise contest scams going around.Cruise Contest Fax Scam

Recently in Florida, Wink News had their reporters enter into a local cruise contest to see the legitimacy of it.

The only result? a 12 minute long phone message followed by “winners” having to pay out a $100 voucher to book the trip.

Following a series of interviews, Wink News found that there have been a number of incidents with a similar program.

One of the most common scams over fax machines come in the form of cruise contests – a fax will arrive saying that someone has won a cruise, and the scam follows in similar fashion.

For more on Cruise Contest Scams in Fort Meyers Florida, see Wink News – Beware of Cruise Contests

Best Way to Get a Birthday Card from the President? Fax

According to the Fay Observer, to get a birthday card sent from the President to someone over 80 years old, the fastest way to do so is through fax.birthday_cake_presidential_fax

The quickest way to get the message through is by fax – by sending it to 202-456-2461.

Alternatively, it can be sent through mail to White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., Washington, D.C., 20500, or online at http://whitehouse.gov/contact.

All requests should be sent at least 3 months in advance, and Presidential greetings can be sent for events such as weddings or civil unions, a 50th, 60th, or 70th wedding anniversary, retirements after 30 years on the job, people turning 80 or older, and veterans turning 70 or older.

More on Getting a Birthday Card from the President:

Fay Observer – Live Wire: Send fax to get presidential birthday greeting

Philadelphia Lawmakers Offering Plan to Let Citizens Contest Parking Tickets by Fax

With a new effort to help citizens avoid the trip to the courthouse, Philadelphia is now letting their citizens contest parking tickets through the internet, email, fax, or regular mail.Parking Ticket by Fax

Considered a good move by people who work irregular hours or far from courthouse facilities, similar systems have already been implemented by Boston, New York, and San Diego.

For more information on Philadelphia and Contesting Parking Tickets by Fax:

Confidential Health Records Accidentally Sent to Lely, Florida Couple

As quoted from WINK News in Napels, Florida, Deborah Foley and Paul Lietz got a new phone line, and with it a number that was frequently misquoted by the David Lawrence Health Centre in Naples.Florida Map

At first they contacted the health center and the faxes stopped, however recently they have been deluged with faxes from other health facilities trying to fax the health center, thinking that a residential number is the number they’re trying to reach.

While not as far on the “embarrassing” level as a 2004 incident involving a Canadian bank who kept faxing customer documents to a scrapyard in another country, incidents like this serve as a reminder that good organizations are quick to listen to the “odd” problems coming from the community and fix them.

Gentle Reminder: Faxes are Generally Considered “Received” Communication

While we don’t want to wade into official positions on legal issues, we feel the need to gently remind the public that faxes are generally considered a communication that has been “received”.received message

As we are reminded in the case of an owner of a Georgia nursing home who was accused of neglecting to maintain the facility as well as issue bounced cheques, a number of faxes (likely with a copy of the confirmation page) were sent in 2006 and at other times.

Unfortunately for the owner, saying “I didn’t get the message” is difficult when there’s a confirmation page confirming receipt of the message from the received fax machine.

For more information on the story, see the article in the Rome News-Tribune.

Check the Caller ID First – Fax Number and Time Stamp Gives up Campaign Treasurer Doing Political Work on State Resources and Time

The great state if Illinois has an ethics policy that employees “shall not intentionally perform any prohibited political activity during any compensated time. State employees shall not intentionally misappropriate any state property or resources by engaging in prohibited political activity for the benefit of any campaign for elective office or any political organizationelection ballot

That line appeared to have been potentially crossed when WGFA radio in Watseka checked the D-1 Statements of Organization for 5 Republican candidates for the 106th House district seat to find that the former campaign treasurer for Tom Bennett, one of the republican candidates, had used state time and resources (the office fax machine) to fax in the campaign papers, a fact that was noted with the fax header information showing the time, place, and number that the fax was sent from.

Although the treasurer is no longer “active” with the campaign, and any investigation is remaining confidential until it is done being investigated, it is also unclear how this may affect Mr. Bennett’s campaign.

Overall, it serves as a good reminder to both balance political and work engagements as well as resources, but on the grand scheme of things still isn’t likely near as problematic from a security standpoint as a certain former state governor who used routinely used webmail for official state communications.

For More Information, This Story is Also Covered In:

Pontiac Daily Leader

WJBC – McCoy: Candidate has Campaign Violations

Pantagraph.com

Illinois Review