Monday, April 30, 2018

iPhone bug alert: No notice when voicemail full

With an Apple iPhone running iOS version 11.3, there is no notice if your voicemail fills up. Callers will get this notice: "The mailbox is full and cannot accept any messages at this time. Goodbye."

A previous version of iOS would tell you when your voicemail was full, but only if you actually went into your voicemail (i.e. just opening the Phone app was not sufficient to get the notification).

To reduce your voicemail so that your phone can accept new messages, you must delete some messages then scroll to the bottom and clear the Deleted Messages. You may also want to check Blocked Messages and delete them as well. I believe that deleted Blocked Messages will go into Deleted Messages.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

"IRS": "After 45 minutes, you will be arrested" — Guest blog

I got a call one day from the "IRS" telling me to call a certain number to prevent everything I own from being taken away from me. I thought it would be fun to call the number, so I did. Here's a transcript of the call. (I recorded it, but can't get the recording to work now.) The guy's accent was heavy. Where the idioms look like typos, they're not.
Irs1: Thank you for calling the Internal Revenue Service. How may I help you?
Me: Hi, I just got a call saying that I was going to be sued by the Internal Revenue Service.
Irs1: Hold on, ma’am. You’ll be provided all the information. 
Me: Okay.
Irs1: Ma’am, verify your home phone number.
Me: [Give them number they called me on (at 34 to 37 seconds in)]
Irs1: And to whom I’m speaking with right now?
Me: Julie Johnson
Irs1: Miss Johnson, are you still residing at [:48 through 1:09]? Miss Johnson, we called you to [unintelligible] you to [unintelligible] information. That there is a legal allegation and a law suit has been filed against you by the Internal Revenue Service. Are you aware about the situation?
Me: No, I’m not.
Irs1: So, I’ll let you know and I’m going to provide you all the information, but before that, do you have a pen and a piece of paper handy? I want you to write down some information.
Me: Yes, I do. I’m ready.
Irs1: Well, Miss Johnson, my name is Officer Derrick Brown. 
Me: Okay.
Irs1: And my [unintelligible] is IRC636660.
Me: Okay.
Irs1: And your case i.d. is DC8192. 
Me: ’Kay. 
Irs1: Thank you, Miss Johnson. Now I’m going to provide you with all the information, but before I do that I would like to tell you that we both are on federal marshals’ recorded lines, by the Internal Revenue Service and the Police of Washington, DC. So make sure you speak on the lines, it can also be used in favor of you...
Me: Okay.
Irs1: Or against you in the court, okay?
Me: So we are being recorded.
Irs1: Yes.
Me: Okay.
Irs1: Miss Johnson, I’ll just go ahead and read out the legal charges against your name now, but before I do that — don’t not interrupt me — I give you a fair time to speak. Now as for the documents, we conducted an audit on your taxes filed for the years 2009 through ’13, and we found that there was a miscalculation in error for the taxes that you filed does not match the tax record that we have. According to Section 7201, the amount still outstanding on your name which you have not paid yet, and for that reason, the local authorities have an arrest warrant to come to your place. Your driver license will be cancelled, and everything under your name. Your property, your back account will be seized. You will also face federal imprisonment for up to five years. Now the total amount outstanding on your name is $8,562, which includes your pending taxes, legal charges, and late fees. Now, may I ask you, Miss Johnson, did you do this intentionally or it was by mistake?
Me: By mistake.
Irs: On the phone this time, Miss Johnson let me tell you, Miss Johnson, [unintelligible] legal notices to the mailing address. We sent two legal notices in the months of September and October of 2015, but both letters have bounced back to us, so we assume that you are trying to run away from the situation, as well you are trying to defraud with the government. 
Me: I never got ’em. 
Irs1: It’s not our duty, ma’am. We did our job, you didn’t [unintelligible]. On the phone this time ma’am, we have two alternatives. First option is: If you think there is nothing wrong with your taxes, you can simply fly to Washington DC with a criminal attorney, and you can file down your case against the IRS, but make sure if your criminal attorney feels guilty inside the courthouse, then you have to pay a fine to the Internal Revenue Service — 25 to 30 thousand dollars. Otherwise, there’s going to be have a federal imprisonment by your name for five years. And the second option is: You can resolve the case outside of the courthouse by paying the outstanding amount to the Internal Revenue Service, and you can stop the arrest warrant by your name. So on the phone this time, Miss Johnson, we want to know what your last intention, because in the moment we get disconnected, I’ll be [unintelligible].
Me. Okay. Okay, that’ll be fine. I’ll go ahead and fight it.
Irs1: You’ll go ahead and fight? 
Me: Yeah. 
Irs1: No problem.
Me: I don’t have $8,000, so I got no choice.
Irs1: Ma’am, we are not talking about that you have to [unintelligible] the amount. If you want to resolve the case, but I can give you monthly payments [unintelligible]. 
Me: Oh, how much would my monthly payments be?
Irs1: If you have good intentions to resolve the case, I can transfer the call to my account department. They’ll guide you up, okay?
Me: Okay.
Irs1: But before transferring, before transferring the call, situation for you. The situation is how much you could come upcoming to resolve the case and to freeze the arrest warrant by your name? I mean maximum level. 
Me: Oh, I could probably get $5,000.
Irs1: Okay, ma’am. And the second question was what I have for you. The line that we are talking right now, this is your home phone number or your cell phone number. 
Me: It’s a cell phone number. [6:03]
Irs1: Cell phone number. So ma’am, I’m transferring the call to my account department. They will guide you up, okay? Hold the line while I transfer the call to my account department. Thank you.
Me: [Here I’m on hold from 6:20 to 7:22, but I can talk to you, the listener. You can’t hear it, but Rod Stewart is singing Maggie Mae in the background. I say, “I’m eating. I shouldn’t be doing that. This ought to be good... Right now, he’s probably telling him, ‘Hey, we got a live one. She’s willing to give $5,000.' Crazy people... I wonder if he hung up on me. Nah!”]
Irs2: Yes, this call is transferred to me. This is Paul Anderson from the Head of the Accounts Department. To whom I’m talking to right now?
Me: Julie Johnson
Irs2: Okay, and my bailor officer, he already explained to you what it is all about and what’s going on. So, I believe you got all the information, right?
Me: Well, I don’t understand why I would owe the IRS $8,562 from 2013,’cause I did my taxes that year, and we typically owe about $3,000. And that’s what we owed and that’s what we paid. So what was different that year, do you know?
Irs2: Our arbitrator already explained to you, okay? 
Me: It wasn’t explained to me why I owed so much money. 
Irs2: Okay, I’ll [unintelligible] again. Here we are talking about 2009 to the year 2013. There was some kind of miscalculation over there, [unintelligible] numerals, mistake in your taxes, so that’s why [unintelligible] amount. So see I’m not talking about one year, okay.
Me: Oh, so it was over several years, okay. 
Irs2: Okay, I’m not talking about one year, okay?
Me: Yeah, okay, and what is your name?
Irs2: So, my name is Paul Anderson. You can write it down. My name is Paul Anderson. Badge i.d. number for the Internal Revenue Service is IRC3137.
Me: Uh hm. Okay.
Irs2: Okay. So, I need your intention. What are you willing to do at [unintelligible] time? You will enter resolve this case outside of court or you can try this case inside the court. 
Me: Well, I’ll probably end up fighting it, I think, ‘cause I can’t come up with $8,562. 
Irs2: So, are looking for the payment plan, right?
Me: Yeah, that’s fine. I’ll do the payment plan. 
Irs2: Okay, but you can pay some the amount today, still, and rest of the amount, I can give it to you based premium plan. So, can I know how much you can come up with today, so that I can stop the lawsuit and cancel the arrest warrant? 
Me: Yeah. I’ll come up with $5,000 today. 
Irs2: Okay, so where do you have this $5,000? That means do you have sums of cash? In your debit card, in your credit card? Where do you have this money? 
Me: Well, I’ll call back this afternoon, and I’ll just go through your web site. You’re at, right?
Irs2: But, ma’am, if you hang up this line, but then I’m sorry I’m not help you out. I’m simply take this case legally inside the court. You can pay this amount right now, okay?
Me: Well, I’ll go to your web site right now and pay it.
Irs2: No problem. So I’m simply take this case legally inside the court, okay?
Me: Say what?
Irs2: I’m simply take this case legally inside the court. After 45 minutes, you will be arrested. Okay, you don’t have any other [unintelligible] option, okay?
Me: So, someone’s going to come to my door within 45 minutes? 
Irs2: Yes, the police officer will be coming at the place and they gonna arrest you.
Me: Wow! Okay. Well, if I get it paid, though, they won’t. I mean, when they come, I can just show ’em where I paid it on line. ’Cause I’m sure, you guys’ll give me a receipt, right? 
Irs2: It’s easier. There’s a new procedure. It’s called EFTPS. It stands for electronic federal tax payment system, okay? That is a reason you can call in a different procedure, because as the original lawsuit has been filed under your name and arrest warrant will be at you at your name. So you can use this procedure and you can resolve [unintelligible], okay?
Me: So, I go to EFTPS to pay this? 
Irs2: Yes.
Me: Will I go to Is that how it works?
Irs2: No, it’s not possible. Do you have the delivery amount in terms of cash in your hand? If not, I’m going to provide your bank account information to the federal attorney, who has been appointed by the state attorney to represent your state, so you can direct the deposit in this account. 
Me: Oh, I see. This is a separate thing. Separate from the IRS? 
Irs2: What do you mean by that?
Me: Well, I want to go through the web site when I pay this, so, I’ll do it that way.
Irs2: No problem. No problem. Thank you.
Me. Uh huh. Bye-bye.

I read on the IRS web site that, since October 2013, over 10,000 people have fallen victim to this scam and paid over $54 million.

Julie Johnson is an editor living in Marietta, Georgia. This was originally posted on Facebook on April 6.