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huawei charged racketeering

Huawei is Being Charged With Racketeering by the US

In February of 2020, the US Department of Justice (DoJ) and the FBI brought 15 charges against Huawei and some of its US subsidiaries for conspiracy to steal trade secrets, …Read More »

In February of 2020, the US Department of Justice (DoJ) and the FBI brought 15 charges against Huawei and some of its US subsidiaries for conspiracy to steal trade secrets, misappropriate intellectual property, and grow their business.

Concerns with Huawei: Background

The Chinese telecom giant, Huawei has been under scrutiny for over a year with a number of countries banning the use of its networking opportunities. Concerns relating to Huawei stems from its connections with the Chinese government, leading to the fear that its equipment may be used for spying purposes. The US, specifically, banned the use of the company’s networking equipment in 2012. In 2019, President Trump banned Huawei from US communication networks.

What’s Happening Now?

Today, the company is being charged with conspiracy to violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) statute. The statute states that: “It is unlawful for anyone employed by or associated with any enterprise engaged in, or the activities of which affect, interstate or foreign commerce, to conduct or participate, directly or indirectly, in the conduct of such enterprise’s affairs through a pattern of racketeering activity or collection of unlawful debt.”

The charge comes as a result of the allegation that Huawei stole source code for “Company 1’s” routers which was then used in Huawei’s products. Based on the context, it is highly probable that “Company 1” is Cisco, the tech company headquartered in California. Check out the official indictment here.

Furthermore, the DoJ alleges that the telecom company used confidential agreements made with American companies to access trade secrets. These secrets were then used to fund the company. The DoJO also alleges that Huawei used code words and selective local partners to protect its activities. And so, it has also been charged for its connections to such activities in Iran and North Korea.

Among the defendants is Huawei CFO, Meng Wanzhou, who has been charged with fraud and placed under house arrest in Canada. Other defendants include Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd., Huawei Device Co. Ltd., Huawei Device USA Inc., Futurewei Technologies Inc., and Skycom Tech Co. Ltd.

Mauritius toll free numbers

Mauritius Toll Free Numbers: Now Available with Global Call Forwarding

Bring in business from the ever-growing island of Mauritius. Global Call Forwarding is happy to offer Mauritius toll free numbers for companies and enterprises looking to do business in this …Read More »

Bring in business from the ever-growing island of Mauritius. Global Call Forwarding is happy to offer Mauritius toll free numbers for companies and enterprises looking to do business in this part of the world.

Increase Your Global Reach With a Mauritius Toll Free Number

With globalization and technological advancements, it is easier than ever to connect with people and companies across the world. Digital communications have brought (and will continue to bring) the world closer than ever. And so, if you are not taking advantage of the opportunities available to expand your business globally, you are missing out. Use this opportunity to connect with businesses and clients in the East African country of Mauritius.

How Mauritius Toll Free Numbers Work

Along with many international toll free numbers, Global Call Forwarding announces toll free numbers for new markets. One of these markets is the vibrant economy of Mauritius. Toll free numbers are virtual numbers that charge the receiver instead of the caller, making it free for contacts and customers to reach your business. Instead of exorbitant long-distance calling fees, locals will have to pay their local calling charges only. This automatically makes you more accessible to the people. And this is because people are more comfortable with a local number that won’t charge them extra, rather than an unknown number.

As a business owner, you have to do everything in your power to demonstrate that your business is professional and reliable. And so, a number that is easy for customers to use and dial is a step in the right direction. Mauritius toll free numbers, therefore, give businesses an opportunity to work with new markets and demographics as well as improve caller experience.

Features That Enhance Communication

Besides giving your contacts a toll free way to connect with you, these numbers also come with additional features that can improve both internal and external communications. Because Global Call Forwarding’s toll free numbers are virtual numbers, you can do much more with your business number. Some of the features include:

  • Dedicated Account Managers: Oversee the smooth functioning of the service.
  • Local Ringback Tones: This refers to the sound heard by callers when the destination (local) phone is ringing.
  • Call Transfer: Transfer calls with a pre-programmed sequence that you arrange according to your needs.
  • Failover Forwarding: This is an automated system that connects incoming calls to other numbers in line in case the first line is occupied.
  • Advanced Interactive Voice Response (IVR): This is an automated greeting system that receives calls and directs callers to the department they need through a menu.
  • Time of Day Routing: This feature directs calls to an assigned number in a different office during certain hours of the day.

These features make your business communication system organized and efficient while also ensuring no calls go unanswered. Use these features to present your company as one that cares about how it interacts with its customers.

How to Get a Toll Free Number for Mauritius?

1: Select your new phone number
Visit the Global Call Forwarding homepage. Under “Select Your New Phone Number,” pick “Mauritius (+230)” and then, choose “Toll Free” for your Mauritius toll free number. Next, select a number from the options available.

2: Enter a destination number
On the right-hand side, provide a phone number where you want calls to be forwarded to under “Forward Incoming Calls To.”

3: Review and select your plan
Review plans offered and select one that is ideal for your business communication.

4: Add features
Next, choose from a variety of add-ons available for your number such as:

  • Free Unlimited Extensions ‒ for different office departments.
  • Call Recording ‒ to record calls for quality assurance and to avoid liabilities.
  • Outbound Calling ‒ to make international calls with caller ID override, enabling your virtual number to appear on the receiver’s caller ID.

5: Enter contact and payment information
Choose your account type: Business or Personal. Enter the necessary information. Accept the Terms and Conditions. Submit your purchase.

Purchase Mauritius Toll Free Numbers from Global Call Forwarding

Invest in a Mauritius toll free number and get one step closer to the locals of this island. Purchasing and setting up your number with Global Call Forwarding is quick and easy. Call us today or sign up and get your number activated and ready to use!

lebanon toll free numbers

Global Call Forwarding Announces Lebanon Toll Free Numbers

Want to expand your company and gather new clients? Global Call Forwarding now offers Lebanon toll free numbers that let you connect with Lebanese contacts and customers through a cheap …Read More »

Want to expand your company and gather new clients? Global Call Forwarding now offers Lebanon toll free numbers that let you connect with Lebanese contacts and customers through a cheap and reliable phone service.

Lebanon Toll Free Phone Numbers

Companies must establish strong connections with all their customers and prospects in order to succeed. To do so, they need to be easily accessible and within reach. Toll free numbers can help customers connect with businesses in a cheap and easy way. Even if you are not in Lebanon, Lebanon toll free numbers can place you in the country’s economy and provide a channel of communication that ensures you stay connected with your clients.

How Lebanon Toll Free Numbers Work

You might have noticed that toll free numbers are often the contact numbers for large enterprises and businesses. This is because toll free numbers can help manage high call volumes, ensuring that every customer call is answered and satisfied. However, the most attractive feature of toll free numbers is the affordability.

Most toll free numbers generally have a two-three digit code at the beginning. Customers can call toll free numbers from almost any device. Calls made to toll free numbers are charged to the receiver and not the caller. Therefore, customers have to pay little to nothing to call your business. These toll free numbers ensure that your Lebanese contacts can reach you, wherever you are located, at local rates instead of international rates.

Reasons why you should get a Lebanon toll free number:

  • Your business number becomes easy for Lebanese customers to dial
  • You can make and answer calls with Lebanese contacts from anywhere in the world
  • Create a strong and professional image for your company
  • Make use of additional features to forward and record your calls, create customized greetings, and more.

The Lebanon Business Scene

Located in the Middle East, Lebanon is at the crossroads of Asia, Europe, and Africa. This enables it to work closely with these neighboring countries. Its diverse population and booming tourism industry make it a good place to do business. Popular and successful industries in this country are tourism, agriculture, health, telecommunications, banking, and commerce. The government supports businesses through implementing reforms that stimulate growth, investments, and funding. And these reforms are popular with foreign investors, bringing international business to the country.

Steps to Get a Toll Free Number for Lebanon

Step 1: Sign up and select your new phone number
Visit the Global Call Forwarding homepage. On the left-hand side, under “Select Your New Phone Number,” select the country “Lebanon (+961).” Next, choose “Toll Free” for your Lebanon toll free number.

Step 2: Choose your new number or port your existing number
Then, choose a number from the options available or port/transfer your existing number.

Step 3: Enter a destination number
On the right-hand side, provide a destination phone number under the “Forward Incoming Calls To.” This is where you will designate where to forward incoming calls.

Step 4: Review and select your plan
Select a plan that fits your business needs. Decide whether you want a free business trial or pay for a subscription plan.

Step 5: Add optional features
Next, choose from a variety of add-ons available for your number, such as Outbound Calling, SMS Forwarding, etc.

Step 6: Enter contact, account, and payment information
Choose your account type: Business or Personal. Accept the Terms and Conditions and submit your purchase.

Lebanon Toll Free Numbers With Global Call Forwarding

Toll free numbers are in high demand for large corporations and call centers that have large call volumes. Affordability and ease of use make toll free numbers a preferred mode of communication between businesses and their contacts and customers. Enhance your customer interaction with Lebanese clients by purchasing Lebanon toll free numbers. Sign up with Global Call Forwarding today!

morocco village toll free numbers

Global Call Forwarding Now Offers Morocco Toll Free Numbers

Wondering what to do next with your business? Go global and connect with clients across the world. Global Call Forwarding now offers Morocco toll free numbers to help you create …Read More »

Wondering what to do next with your business? Go global and connect with clients across the world. Global Call Forwarding now offers Morocco toll free numbers to help you create communication channels with potential clients in this North African country.

Why Do Business in Morocco

Morocco, officially known as the Kingdom of Morocco, is a country in North Africa. This country is most popular for its well-preserved medinas such as Fez, Marrakesh, Tetouan, and Essaouira that are recognized UNESCO World Heritage sites. In these medinas, you will find craftsmen, skilled artisans, and markets filled with imperial and maritime-influenced treasures.

Every business’s goal is to grow and expand and to gather more loyal clients. To do this, it is important to build strong connections and portray your company as a reliable and professional one. Besides creating a good product, gaining investors, and hiring skilled labor, as a business owner you need to take steps towards customer satisfaction and relations. And toll free numbers are one way to do this.

How Morocco Toll Free Numbers Work

Morocco toll free numbers from Global Call Forwarding are virtual numbers that route calls over the internet. This makes it cheaper to stay in touch with international customers and conduct business overseas. You don’t want to discourage customers from calling by making them pay extra or jump through hoops to get in touch with a representative. And since a toll free number charges the receiver instead of the caller, customers can call you for free.

Morocco toll free numbers let you enter the Morocco market and become more accessible to locals. Therefore, these numbers bring you closer to potential clients without needing you to physically move to the location. And so, you don’t have to bother with moving costs or the worry of setting up an office in the country. If required, you may hire a remote employee to handle calls from Moroccan customers and have calls forwarded to that number during their daytime hours. This only makes your company more available and visible to people in this area.

Steps to Get a Toll Free Number for Morocco

1: Select your new phone number
Visit the Global Call Forwarding homepage. On the left, under “Select Your New Phone Number,” select the country “Morocco (+212).” Then, choose “Toll Free” for your Morocco toll free number. Next, choose a number from the options available or port/transfer your existing number.

2: Enter a destination number
On the right-hand side, provide a destination phone number under the “Forward Incoming Calls To.” This is the number where you would like to direct incoming calls.

3: Review and select your plan
Select a plan that fits your business. Decide whether you want a free business trial or if you would prefer to pay for a subscription plan.

4: Add features
Next, choose from a variety of add-ons available for your number such as:
Inbound SMS plans ‒ to receive instant messages from customers in your inbox
Call Recording ‒ to record calls for quality assurance and to avoid liabilities
Outbound Calling ‒ to make international calls with caller ID override making your virtual number appear on the receiver’s caller ID.

5: Enter the necessary information
Choose your account type: Business or Personal. Enter contact and payment information. Accept the Terms and Conditions and submit your purchase.

Purchase Morocco Toll Free Numbers from Global Call Forwarding

If you want to start doing business with Moroccan contacts and clients, getting a toll free number can positively impact your business correspondence. Setting up a toll free number with Global Call Forwarding is quick and easy. You can sign up for one today or contact us for more information about communication solutions for your company.

Inspiring Entrepreneurs in 2019

Inspiring Entrepreneurs in 2019

Entrepreneurs are business owners who design, operate, and launch businesses. They usually dump their 9-to-5 jobs to pursue an idea that they believe in. It’s not an easy or glamorous …Read More »

Entrepreneurs are business owners who design, operate, and launch businesses. They usually dump their 9-to-5 jobs to pursue an idea that they believe in. It’s not an easy or glamorous job; it takes a lot of hard work, determination, and grit to build a business from the bottom up. That is why it can be so inspiring when you meet someone who has worked very hard and taken their business to new levels of success. Read on and get inspired by these young entrepreneurs that you will most certainly be seeing more of this coming year.

Entrepreneurs to watch in 2019

1. Leigh-Kathryn Bonner

Bonner, 25, decided that instead of sitting around and worrying about the declining population of bees in the world, she would do something about it. So she did. She is now the owner of Bee Downtown, a company that installs honey beehives in urban areas. She has installed beehives in the corporate headquarters of Burt’s Bees, Chick-Fil-A, IBM, Delta, and Intercontinental Exchange. Bonner is a fourth-generation beekeeper and decided that, after studying abroad, that she needed to be concerned about the alarming rate that the bee population is declining. She decided that she could approach the American Tobacco Campus in Durham, NC and pitch the idea to place a beehive on the top of their building. The owner of the company liked the idea so much that he introduced her to Burt’s Bees and the rest isn’t quite history. She decided to keep running the business on the side as she finished her schooling. Upon graduation, she was offered a job. Instead of taking the job she pursued her business idea full time and with a loan of $15,000 from her parents she was able to take her business to where it is today.

Inspiring Entrepreneurs
Source: O#100152082224 ID#100200144052

2. Jobert Abma and Michiel Prins

These two self-taught hackers are the creators of HackerOne. Their company helps businesses by finding security vulnerabilities and keeping cyber threats at bay. The company is based in San Francisco and run by the pair of childhood friends whose customer base is stacked with top corporations such as Starbucks, Airbnb, General Motors, and Twitter. They got their first contract job at Facebook by diving deep into the messaging application for Facebook and finding a bug. They were immediately invited to a social event by the group and given jobs. Once they secured their contract at Facebook, they decided to target other large companies they wished to work for and found cybersecurity bugs in their websites and before long they found themselves with a stacked clientele base.

3. Siqi Mou

Siqi Mou is the 29-year-old creator of HelloAva, an automated chatbot that can help you pinpoint the problems in your skin and curate a list best suited to fight your skin blemishes. Mou suffered from acne for the majority of her life. While she was formerly a news anchor in Indonesia, she was offered an opportunity to star in an ad. However, the advertisement was for a skincare product, before she agreed to do the ad, she looked up the harsh chemical ingredients in the products and got very annoyed. Her dissatisfaction with the commercial skincare products out today birthed the idea she had for HelloAva. Now users can consult with an aesthetician online and receive recommendations for products that are good for the skin.

4. Camille Baker

Pull Up a Seat offers foodies a chance to satisfy their cravings and allows businesses like bakeries, a way to reach broad and local audiences. Baker created this platform so that chefs could spend more time working on their food rather than using up so much time on creating a website and marketing. Now the food vendors can list their businesses on the site, and the foodies will come.

5. Krisna Bhargava

Krisna Bhargava was a Ph.D. student at the University of Southern California when he came up with the idea to create his business, ReoLab. He got the idea for the company when he realized that the tools that were used to run medical tests in hospitals were not as capable as they had the potential to be. These tests could take days at a time for results when people who were medical danger didn’t have that kind of time. He decided that by shrinking a testing lab to the size of a shoebox, he could have results that were ready in an hour. With some help from his peers and mentors, he has been able to gain funding for his idea which he has dubbed “like a Keurig machine for diagnostic tests.”

Many inspiring entrepreneurs make names for themselves each year. Why not be next?

Global Call Forwarding provides is the  most trusted Provider of Virtual Phone Numbers, Outbound Calling, VoIP, SMS and Call Recording.

Amazon headquarters

Amazon HQ2 Announced!

Over the past year, there has been a great deal of fanfare and speculation about the location of Amazon’s HQ2. The company’s second headquarters is expected to provide as many …Read More »

Over the past year, there has been a great deal of fanfare and speculation about the location of Amazon’s HQ2. The company’s second headquarters is expected to provide as many as 50,000 jobs and to be equal in size to its first headquarters in Seattle.

Finally, the wait is over as Amazon announced its choice in November 2018. HQ2 will have not one, but two locations; one in Crystal City in Arlington, Virginia, and one in Long Island City, in Queens, New York City. Amazon claims that each venue will provide employment for 25,000 people.

Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos announced that the company has also selected Nashville to host a “center of excellence” which will hire 5,000 people to handle business operations, including transportation, customer fulfillment, and supply chain. Hiring for all three facilities will begin in 2019.

Amazon Gets Incentives

Amazon will receive more than $1.5 billion in incentives from New York and $573 million in incentives from Virginia. Tennessee is also giving Amazon up to $102 million in incentives. As part of the agreements, Bezos has stated that the positions in all three facilities will have an average wage of $150,000. The company also agreed to donate a site for a new primary or secondary school in New York and to fund improvements in infrastructure and green space.

Amazon’s Impact on Seattle

Known locally as Amazonians, Seattle’s Amazon workforce collectively occupies more office space than Seattle’s next 40 largest companies combined. The areas in metro Seattle which saw the largest influx of employees have seen rent increases hiked up 65 percent faster than those areas which saw the smallest influx. Since its inception in 2010, jobs are still booming in and around the Amazon campus.

The South Lake Union neighborhood, formerly an industrial area, is now home to condos, offices, gyms, restaurants, and coffee shops. And still, more of the same can be found under construction.

The Amazon campus started out with a workforce of 10,000. This has now grown to 40,000 and Seattle is proud to have Amazon in its midst.

What to Expect From Amazon HQ2

Over the next two decades, Amazon plans to spend $5 billion to develop two 4-million square-feet sites, each of which will employ 25,000 people. This will add to Amazon’s growing workforce of 613,300 people worldwide. HQ2 is yet another indication of Bezos’ grand ambitions with his company expanding from retail to include healthcare, entertainment, robotics, cloud computing, and artificial intelligence. But just like Seattle, Virginia and New York will witness the downside of the latest Amazon venture, including high rent hikes and increased traffic.

warehouse boxes fortlift
Source: O#100015837823

Why Does Amazon Want HQ2?

Early in 2018, an Amazon spokesman claimed that the company wanted to tap into a new talent pool, including people in software development. Expanding in Seattle would have proved difficult, particularly with soaring real estate prices and competition for talent with Boeing and Microsoft.

Now the third-most-valuable company in the U.S., Amazon is also expanding in China, India, the Middle East, and Europe. So, new headquarters on the east side of the country could assist with oversight of its international customer base and global workforce.

Are Two HQ2s Better Than One?

Opinions vary. Some see the two smaller offices as easier to manage without becoming a major strain on local infrastructure. What’s more, two locations mean a big economic benefit for both locations. However, critics state concerns about rises in rent and traffic. Others complain that choosing two locations undercuts the whole point of having HQ2 because the locations will not be equal to Seattle’s HQ.

Amazon’s initial announcement of its planned expansion triggered a hot contest between cities who wanted to win the prize, especially as the company said it was looking for creative communities that could think big. Amazon narrowed it down to twenty cities, and the buzz went quiet while the company went about its selection process. In the end, money was a big factor for the finalists because Amazon wanted plenty of incentives. This led to the largest incentive package of $8.5 billion, which was offered by Montgomery County, Maryland, and the second largest of $7 billion offered by Newark, New Jersey.

Amazon has certainly come a long way since it was founded in Bellevue, Washington in 1994. In the company’s journey to maturity, it has gone through a number of office moves in downtown Seattle. Then the company finally constructed its HQ campus in the South Lake Union neighborhood, which at the time was a light industrial area which was enjoying the beginning of urban renewal. Amazon has certainly made a big impact on the area. How it will impact Virginia and New York remains to be seen.

Facebook found gathering text and data

Facebook Found Gathering Texts and Phone Data From Android Devices

Back in 2015, when Android users downloaded the App for Facebook or Facebook Lite, they would be asked a question- If they would like to sync their contacts with the …Read More »

Back in 2015, when Android users downloaded the App for Facebook or Facebook Lite, they would be asked a question- If they would like to sync their contacts with the App in order to find their friends easier. However, they never stated that they would use this information to track your call logs, which it was later revealed that they did. This information was revealed in late March, the same day that Mark Zuckerberg took out ads to publicly apologize for the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Since then Facebook has been weathering the storm from both of these revelations that have reached millions of people’s personal data security.

In the first scandal, Facebook leaked the information of 87 million users to the research firm, Cambridge Analytica. The information was linked to a paid psychological test taken by downloading a quiz app through Facebook of which only 270,000 users willingly downloaded. However, the affected people reached the 87 million because data was taken from other users who were simply “friends” with the users who downloaded the psychological quiz. It is not known how Cambridge Analytica was able to get the information of the friends of the users. It was later reported that the Trump Campaign paid Cambridge Analytica $6 million during the election year. Facebook followed this scandal by assuring users that they would be making a greater effort to shield a person’s privacy by limiting the information that third-party accounts would receive in the future.

Following, this scandal the Ars Technica website revealed that Android users had checked the data that Facebook had gathered from them over the years and found out that Facebook had kept actual text message content, telephone call lengths, phone numbers, and names of their contacts in a data log. Facebook claimed that they simply use this data to improve the Facebook experience and that using this data helps people connect with others. An example of how they “improved” Facebook’s experience was by categorizing the contacts you see first when using the messenger feature. Basically, the people who you converse with most would be found at the top of your Facebook contacts when using the messenger feature.

Facebook reps also defended the site by saying that the data that was collected from this application asked users beforehand to “opt-in” to share their data with the company for research purposes. Several users who found out that years of their contact data and phone records had been collected did not remember choosing to “opt-in.” This was because the opt-in was a default mode when installing and only if users went through the settings of the app to correct it, their data would automatically be shared. Although later Facebook began asking permission of the users before automatically storing their data, they did not outright tell the user what data they would be collecting and how they would be using it. They simply said sharing your data would help you find your friends easier.

Many users were confused by the way Facebook had said they would use their data. There was no mention of Facebook collecting call logs and text messages, so users were understandably shocked when they downloaded their Facebook data to find the call logs. Since this news came in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, this breach of data has a larger meaning. Although Facebook tried to placate users by letting them know they can change all of the data that is being shared in their settings, we now know that the information contained by Facebook is vulnerable to being shared with their affiliates. Facebook representatives continue to claim that their networks are secure and the data can’t be shared, which is a bizarre claim to make immediately after they publicly apologized for that exact situation happening. The company has since suffered a 14% drop in stocks since the news broke about Cambria.

lady cellphone texting
Source: O#20443 – MID#100152883136

Some companies have pulled back the amount of money spent on Facebook ads, but analysts do not believe this will have a long-term effect. They believe that most companies will return to Facebook once the backlash is over. Facebook is still a social media giant and boasts the most users out of all social media platforms. It has nearly three times as many users as Instagram, and even their second app, Facebook Messenger, boasts 1.3 billion users to the 800 million on Instagram. Twitter falls behind both Instagram and Facebook with 330 million active users. The social network that is closest to Facebook is YouTube with 1.5 billion active users to Facebook’s 2.1 billion.

The CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, took out several ads in the UK and America to apologize for the Cambridge Analytica data leak, but many people were not satisfied with this apology and decided to leave Facebook altogether fearing that their information is not safe. A slew of celebrities made a public break from the company, including Will Ferrell, Cher, and Elon Musk. Will Ferrell posted his farewell to Facebook on his Facebook page which he left up for a few days before actual deletion so the news could travel to his fans. He cited multiple reasons for leaving the site. He stated that Facebook misusing information of users undermines democracy itself, and he couldn’t “in good conscience” use the site anymore because of Facebook’s involvement in “the spread of propaganda” to the “most vulnerable” Americans.

Cher chose Twitter as her avenue of announcing her split from the site. She wrote how she appreciated Facebook as a way to help her charities, but ultimately decided to delete her account. Her reasoning behind deleting her page was that she believes there are “more important things than money.” She stressed the point of the tweet in Cher-fashion by using multiple emojis, including the bags of money emoji.

If you’re thinking about permanently deleting your Facebook, there is a catch. While you can delete your Facebook from the present and the future, you can’t delete it from the past. All of the information that Facebook has collected from your presence on the app over the years will remain active for a few months and not everything will get deleted even after that period. The majority of information that the Facebook deleter has posted will be erased eventually, but the posts by friends of this user will remain active until that Facebook user deletes their Facebook account. So unless all of your friends jump on the #DeleteFacebook train, some of your data will remain in the social media giant’s hands.

Scammers Steal Phone Numbers from T-Mobile

If you’re using a T-Mobile phone, you may want to watch your bank account. Mobile cell phone provider T-Mobile is warning its customers about the appearance of a new scam …Read More »

If you’re using a T-Mobile phone, you may want to watch your bank account.

Mobile cell phone provider T-Mobile is warning its customers about the appearance of a new scam that targets your phone number linked to your bank account. According to T-Mobile, this scam could potentially affect any other service provider (i.e. Verizon) who has provided security information to their bank.

It may seem ironic, but the same security measures used to thwart identity thieves actually create a loophole. Essentially, the scam is a straight-forward exploit of lax security measures: First, scammers obtain your phone number, pretend to be a consumer, and finally transport your number to another phone. The scam works because it takes advantage of how banks and other financial institutions use password-recovery options that are linked to cellphone numbers. These same numbers may also be linked to social media accounts, like Twitter and Facebook, further compounding the complications of identity-theft.

How the Scam Works

The scam all starts with thieves getting your personal information, which includes your name, phone number, email addresses, and possibly your Social Security number. From there, thieves typically take their victim’s T-Mobile phone number by accessing their account information. Combined with their victim’s personal information, they are able to transfer that number to another phone — for T-Mobile users, it can be Metro PCS, a company that is owned by T-Mobile.

According to technology experts, thieves then immediately contact the victim’s bank to reset the password on the victim’s bank account. Banks then provide a verification code sent to the phone number on the scammer’s MetroPCS phone (or another mobile device). Once the new password is set, thieves can transfer funds just as normally as if the victim were doing it themselves.

Users who have experienced this scam typically begin by receiving a text message from T-Mobile, alerting the user that they’ve made changes to their service plan and that their phone number has been transferred to a T-Mobile-related cell service, MetroPCS. However, the scammer has deliberately made this change, transferring the user’s phone number to a new phone and then cutting off service to the user’s phone. Those who get in touch with the cell phone provider naturally inquire about their phone account, which is usually rectified immediately.

While this may just seem like adding insult to injury, there is also has a compounding effect to this approach. For those who may not have a way to immediately get in contact with their financial institution to place a hold, freeze their accounts, and verify the account for suspicious activity, the thieves get a window of opportunity to transfer money from the bank account to another. By the time most customers begin to investigate their account activity and get their phones back online, the scammers have already moved on. It has been reported that this entire process only takes a few minutes, showing the speed and sophistication of the attack.

What makes this recent wave of identity theft especially possible is an app known as Zelle. Recently, banks have been offering a free money-transfer service via Zelle to process the transactions smoothly between other bank accounts. To use this service, people register their email addresses or phone numbers to verify their Zelle account — which creates the perfect opportunity for thieves to gather a customer’s private information. While Zelle’s purpose is to facilitate easy transfers of money between accounts, it may be too easy for scammers to empty an account in short order.

What Can Customers Do to Protect Themselves?

As with any scam or unusual account activity, it typically falls on the shoulders of the customer to be vigilant. This includes the normal preventative measures of not providing their personal information to untrustworthy sources, shredding documents, and creating passwords online that are hard to crack. In most cases, when the scam has been caught early, consumers have been able to mitigate their losses and stop the unwanted money-transfers.

However, basic preventative measures may not be enough to protect consumers. The extent of the scam has forced T-Mobile and other cell phone service providers to issue an alert to combat this issue. The company has provided a link on its website dedicated to this scam, stating, “Our industry is experiencing a phone number port out scam that could impact you.” Additionally, the Better Business has issued a nationwide alert in an effort to stop the scam that is responsible for stealing thousands of dollars from T-Mobile customers.

To further protect its customers, T-Mobile has been contacting their customers via text message to immediately add extra layers of security protection to their accounts. This new security feature requires any number-porting request to be verified with a special passcode. T-Mobile users are encouraged to call 611 from their T-Mobile phone and create a new 6-to-15-digit passcode to add another barrier to identity thieves. Additionally, T-Mobile suggests that its customers have strong passwords on all of their accounts and ask their bank for any other added security measures, including text-to-PIN authentication or unlinking of their contact information.

For more information on T-Mobile’s security and privacy resources, click here.

According to recent estimates, this scam has been able to siphon anywhere between $1,000 – $3,000 in unwanted transactions per attack, but it may be more widespread than is being reported.

Experts have detected similar bank-verification scams dating back to 2016 and 2017, indicating that this is not the first instance of tech-savvy cellphone crimes that can exploit your bank account via phone. In similar circumstances, Verizon, Sprint and AT&T phone-number verifications from a financial institution were exploited in the same fashion — ill-gotten personal information allowed thieves to pose as a customer and attempt to change information for account transfers.

With newer money transfer services like Zelle and VenMo, transactions can occur rapidly with minimal verification. This may indicate a trend of identity theft that focuses on manipulating security measures for a window opportunity. Despite the industry-wide warnings, there continue to be instances of this scam appearing across the United States, particularly in the Seattle area.

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WATCH SpaceX Tesla Roadster Impacted by Debris? – Live Feed Goes Dark

When a brilliant billionaire with otherworldly domination on the brain decides it is time to exceed expectations with a product launch, surely they would be anticipating a bumpy ride along …Read More »

When a brilliant billionaire with otherworldly domination on the brain decides it is time to exceed expectations with a product launch, surely they would be anticipating a bumpy ride along the way. And that’s exactly what Tesla and SpaceX Founder and CEO, Elon Musk witnessed less than 24 hours since his Heavy Falcon rocket took off.  The Falcon Heavy had a payload of  Tesla’s Roadster and took off from Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, FL.

Around 7:30 AM EST, it appeared as if something impacted the spacecraft, causing a slight jolt during the early stages of its Mars-bound flight.

Clearly, however not surprisingly, there seems to be no mention of it anywhere, but for those watching closely on the “Starman,” live stream, as the Roadsternaut is now affectionately known, the impact(s) were definitely noticeable. Within the video footage, a second disturbance causes the foil to move around in a very unusual manner, and almost immediately, the live feed went dark. The blackout lasted for 15 – 20 minutes before it returned to its regularly scheduled live streaming of the Starman. SpaceX has since removed video footage of the mishap and blackout, but it definitely occurred and we cannot help but speculate on the nature of the disturbance.

The obtained footage of the unusual activity was taken directly from the live SpaceX feed ( ), and it was definitely something any obsessed stargazer would want to check out for themselves, so have a look! 

Naturally, this series of strange occurrences has us asking: What caused the blackout? What caused the unusual movement? Why does the foil thermal blanket move in such a sudden, abrupt manner, and then suddenly shift the camera to an awkward angle, showing additional movement?  Was it space junk? Was it a meteor?

We would love to get a response from SpaceX because, like many folks, we are glued to the feed and really curious about what caused such events to occur. What kind of impact actually took place?

Obviously, it was not a major concern. After a period of 15 – 20 minutes, everything was back in action. Cameras were readjusted and Starman resumed control of the helm. Did space junk impact the spacecraft? Was it a declaration of interstellar warfare by extraterrestrials? Or do you think it was staged to increase viewership, because a boring excuse of, say “a glitch in the filming,” just doesn’t cut it anymore? Any and all theories are welcome, of course…

Currently cruising beyond the orbit of the moon, in an elliptical orbit around the sun, Tesla’s space-traveling Roadster, manned by “Starman,” a space suit-donning dummy, has had a tremendous amount of attention over the past few days. This mission was successfully launched on Tuesday, February 6, 2018, by SpaceX’s most advanced rocket to date, the Falcon Heavy. At the moment, the cherry-red Tesla Roadster is on a mission to Mars, with the Red Planet’s orbit on the horizon by summer 2019.

So, why the use of a stunning Tesla vehicle and not the typical steel or cement blocks that NASA typically sends into orbit? Elon Musk wanted to make people feel something, so a cherry-red Roadster was chosen as the object to inspire the masses. Quoted by the master of Tesla and SpaceX himself: “Of course, anything boring is terrible, especially companies, so we decided to send something unusual, something that made us feel. “The payload will be an original Tesla Roadster, playing Space Oddity (by David Bowie), on a billion-year elliptic Mars orbit.”

Did you happen to catch the footage of the SpaceX Tesla Roadster blackout? What was your initial reaction? If you haven’t seen it yet, we’ve got the footage! Commentary and explanations from SpaceX are absolutely welcome and encouraged; we’d love to know more!

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Broadcom Offers Qualcomm $121 Billion in Takeover Bid

On Monday, February 5, 2018, Broadcom Ltd made a $121 billion (86.35 billion pounds) offer in a last effort to acquire Qualcomm Inc. This move upped the pressure on its …Read More »

On Monday, February 5, 2018, Broadcom Ltd made a $121 billion (86.35 billion pounds) offer in a last effort to acquire Qualcomm Inc. This move upped the pressure on its U.S. semiconductor peer in hopes of engaging discussion on what is prospected to be the largest technology acquisition ever. This acquisition could affect the future of smartphones and other emerging technologies.

Previously, Broadcom had offered an initial offer of $70 per share ($60 in cash and $10 in Broadcom stock). Now, Broadcom has increased its takeover bid to $82 per share ($60 in cash and $22 in Broadcom stock). With the increase in stock, this subjects the deal to a vote among Broadcom’s shareholders.

Broadcom Aggressively Pursues Qualcomm

This is a strategic maneuver by Broadcom to raise the stakes and influence negotiations, as Qualcomm’s annual shareholder meeting is scheduled to be held on March 6th. In an effort to unseat the entire board, Broadcom has doubled down with making its last offer and stated that it would also withdraw its offer if Qualcomm reschedules the shareholder meeting. To further drive its point home, Broadcom also stated it would withdraw its offer if Qualcomm had paid more than $110 per share for its own bid to acquire NXP Semiconductors NV.

Currently, Qualcomm’s deal with NXP has hovered at $110 per share in cash, or the transaction (valued at $38 million) would be terminated. However, it appears that NXP shareholders, including the hedge fund Elliott Management Corp, have decided to resist the deal in hopes to push for Qualcomm to raise its offer.

As of Monday afternoon, NXP shares were trading at $119.16, indicating that investors were expecting a better deal from Qualcomm. To further raise the stakes, Qualcomm’s potential acquisition of NXP has already passed European Union antitrust regulators in January, with it expected that China’s regulatory bodies would follow suit in the following month. This timeline creates the tension of the deal, forcing Qualcomm to decide whether it would raise its offer or accept Broadcom’s bold offer. Hock Tan, Broadcom’s CEO, even went as far to mention to the NY Times that, “Any rational board would consider what we’ve put forward.”

qualcom broadcom

The potential outcome of Broadcom’s bold move would create a technology giant that may have products used in virtually every smartphone in the world. However, Qualcomm’s leadership opposes these bids of forcing their hand to accept the offer.

Whether Qualcomm decides to accept the bid or not, analysts have suggested that the offer may be rejected on antitrust grounds. Considering that the rising cost of developing computer chips may be prohibitive for companies looking to carve a stake in the market, these worries are not completely unfounded. This is especially true considering the future market landscape of semiconductors, with microchip sales surging 21.6% to $412.2 billion in 2017 (according to the Semiconductor Industry Association). To assuage concerns and highlight its commitment to making the deal go through, Broadcom went several steps further in its negotiations:

  • Broadcom has decidedly announced they will pay a substantial “breakup fee” in the event regulators veto the deal. This agreement includes paying additional cash if both companies haven’t closed a transaction a year after announcement.
  • The company would also pay a significant “reverse termination fee” if regulators nix the deal.
  • If the transaction is not completed within its target of 12 months after any definitive agreement, Broadcom said it would be willing to pay Qualcomm a “ticking fee.”
  • Broadcom mentioned its commitment to facilitate the transaction, including selling overlapping businesses.
  • Broadcom’s assurances may sweeten the deal and prove important for those on the fence, especially when considering questions among investors and analysts hinge over whether the merger could win regulatory approval.

Of course, one clear takeaway from this corporate tech battle is that it underpins the growing importance of semiconductor tech in nearly all modern devices. Consumers should take note that the implications of this acquisition, as Qualcomm has been closely related to the success of emerging technology in the past and is closely tied to the development of 5G, a new generation of wireless technology that will affect future devices. Qualcomm’s past developments in technology — first, through intellectual property — became the foundation for digital cellular communication, where its profits were channeled into developing a new line of microprocessors that could handle calculations in mobile phones.

This model was widely employed in Apple’s iPhones — among the most lucrative products in high-tech, and they opened the door for Samsung Electronics and many Chinese competitors. With this massive influx, this technology was used to quickly churn out low-priced iPhone rivals and it made smartphones affordable to many more people. Apple filed suit a year ago with Qualcomm, citing that the company was in violation of an antitrust practice that has also been opposed by regulators in the US, Asia, and Europe.

Broadcom has sensed Qualcomm’s overreach and has offered to broker peace with Apple for Qualcomm’s licensing practices. Apple, which already is a major customer of Broadcom, could then withdraw its lawsuits that have beleaguered Qualcomm’s business model.

Tan has also mentioned that Broadcom plans to pick up the slack in the wake of the potential acquisition: “We have a lot of respect for the tech and the innovation that comes with the 5G technology,” he said. “But we believe, given [Broadcom’s] track record, we can do much more.”

However, Broadcom isn’t a fix-all situation for regulators and manufacturers, especially considering Broadcom’s history of reducing spending on research and development, while raising chip prices. Companies like Samsung have also begun to side with Qualcomm’s tried-and-true approach, as a new patent deal with the South Korean company was announced last week. Also mentioned was Samsung’s agreement to cease its opposition to Qualcomm in court proceedings in South Korea.

Whether Qualcomm decides to take the deal with Broadcom is currently unknown. However, in a recent statement, Qualcomm has not ruled out the possibility of the takeover by Broadcom. With an immediate outcome uncertain, investors will have to wait until Qualcomm’s shareholder meeting for further action. According to Tan, “We are going all the way to Qualcomm’s shareholder meeting of March 6.”