A quick blog of note for you this morning.
As most of you know, I’m up very early everyday, getting my work done while the little ones are sleeping. Yesterday morning, I received a call from a client on my cell phone, later in the morning, who was somewhat perturbed. She asked me if I has called my home phone number lately because there seemed to be an issue. I hung up and called the home number, and although the cordless phone was right on the desk in front of me, it did not ring.
When the line I called picked up, to say I was shocked to hear an adult chat line with some really bad porn style music playing would be an understatement.
Not breathing,I stared at the phone on my desk as I disconnected my cell and dialed my home phone again. Again the phone on my desk did not ring – and that really bad porn music began to play. More streams of @#$#@#@$ filled the air.
Then, as I was contemplating what was going on, a family member called on the cell with the same news. Yes, even more #@#$#@!@# escaped.
The phone had been on my desk all morning and no one had access to it but myself.
I could call out, but no calls had come in. Pissed off in the most extreme manner, I called Shaw and spent 25 minutes on hold before seeing on the computer I could use internet live chat with one of their technicians, so I hooked up immediately and set the cell down.
After verifying my identity with them( good procedure Shaw) they accessed the system and did some trace work on times and calls. As it turns out, while I was working at my desk with the phone right in front of me, someone had accessed the system and call forwarded my home phone number to the chat line, in an obvious attempt to cause some trouble and embarrassment. Which it did. And the technician was helpful in determining with me the exact time and duration of the access, as well as make some inquiries to see what else I needed to know.
After resetting the system and ensuring callers to my home were no longer thinking I had taken up a new career, we disconnected with the promise he would contact me shortly with more information. Sure enough, the tech called me an hour later and educated me on how anyone smart enough can access the signal that emits from your traditional home cordless phone.
He talked me through the procedure of going outside and ensuring my actual phone line had not been interfered with, and then advised me how to ensure complete security by bypassing the actual phone lines in my home – while returning to the old fashioned corded phone.
Although this all makes perfect sense to me now, and I did know about people stealing wireless internet signals, I really never thought about anyone stealing phone signals or anyone being able to access your line through that technology. Scary stuff when you think that some people( I don’t) use telephone banking, buy things over the phone and give out credit card info that someone could be just outside in a car listening to and writing down. Who knew? This is something everyone should be aware of, and should keep in mind when using cordless phones.
It may be myself that has the last laugh here though. The funny thing is that whoever did this obviously had(has) no clue that I have a very successful background in investigations, from several years that I enjoying working in the field. And thanks to an observant neighbour, an individual in an unknown vehicle was noted parked down the street for several hours early yesterday morning. So, perhaps we will meet again shortly, Mr. phone signal thief.
I look forward to it.