Sunday, February 07, 2010

Morals, Ethics, doing the right thing. Not stealing is not a grey area, it is not right. We don't need a law to say that just because someone leaves a mobile phone on a bar, that someone else has the right to take it and use it. I was behind a car as it turn on the on ramp of the highway. as he turned, something went flying from the car. I pulled over and found his wallet. phone number in it and so I called him. later that day he came by and got the wallet. One day in Mexico, I was on my motorcycle. I stopped for lunch and in getting something out of my tank bag I dropped my wallet. Before I noticed and old man walking by stopped and pointed at my feet to the wallet. It is not karma, it is just honest people. There is no other way to act. I could not be a moral person if I had not stopped and the old man could not if he had not acted the way he did.

So for someone to justify not acting the ethical way, including a company, is just justifying acting in concert with the criminal mind. But let's go one step further. You are in some place where smoking is still allowed. does that mean you have the moral right to smoke offending and damaging others? You are in a restaurant and you can smoke, should you and by doing so ruin someone’s meal? If you are French or I guess Dutch, you do. and when someone points out that you are ruining their meal the excuse is that they have the right to smoke and that you are rude for objecting to it. We have coffee at starbucks because they have no smoking and yet in France one women tried to hide her smoking knowing full well it was not allowed. So who would be so rude as to mention it. I was.

Self imposed ethics is something Westerners come to the third world are expected to have. But they act and dress in ways that are insulting to the locals. But the locals need their money so they play into the game. Even when they go to a watt, often the foreigners wear cutoffs, short shorts and shirts or blouses more appropriate for the beach than a secret place. But they are the rich foreigner on vacation and so they can lord it over the local. At a restaurant some white guy with a loud wife and two kids is walking around with no shirt on. this is something only the lowest of the low here would do and certainly not something he would do or be allowed to do in a restaurant in the West.

Reminding people that there are moral and ethical ways to act may be left to a few of us but someone needs to do it. We make laws and then either get the police involved or the courts rather than say to a neighbor whose young children are making loud noise at 1 am that they need to settle down. Or that thieves, robbers, cheaters are wrong and need to be caught and that companies that do not cooperate freely and easily with the police are just being obstructionists and helping the criminal in the long run.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Next there is T-mobile and the IMEI Number...

They stole my 2G Iphone! 16gig S/N 8880309N0KH IMEI 011434009164177

No SIM in it and it was in the box so it could be sold on Ebay where it might be sold but not by me. All modern mobile phones are required by law to have a distinct IMEI number. The IMEI number or International Mobile Equipment Identity is broadcasts every time the mobile phone is used and can be tracked anywhere in the world by it. it cannot be blocked or removed and contrary to what someone at t-mobile told the police, even if the person uses a pay as you go SIM the phone location can be triangulated and records of all outgoing phone numbers are available. But to get T-Mobile to take any action the police must get a warrant. Why? This is my phone and I have given the police permission so that should be all they need. But T-Mobile wants to be obstructive. So obstruction that to get to the legal department to ask why they want to be this way you must write them. you cannot call, you cannot email. So I said so the police have to write you? No it seems they have a secret code to get through. But then they still must force T-Mobile to give them the information on my phone through a warrant.

Why would T-Mobile do this? Well let’s look at its roots. They are a part of one of the worse government monopolies in the world, Deutsch Telecom. German government owned and operated with a power greater than the AT&T monopoly ever had and for a lot longer. They could not only do what they wanted, charge what they wanted and control the development of technology in German they could do it with the full force of the German government behind it. Have they changed? Not by much it seems.

Since they are a foreign entity involved in a strategic industry, maybe it is time to shut them down or make them understand how the US works. Maybe it is time for the feds to step in and require mobile phone companies to work with not only the police but the consumer, the owner of the phone, helping by tracking the IMEI number to catch the thieve. The should be required to not only have the ability to track stolen mobile phones but the desire to do so and the mandate to keep police and the public informed as to their ability to do it.

Why would T-Mobile not want to? for the same reason as Tivo, the more phones out there, legally bought or not, are potentially more phones paying for service. If they catch the thieves that steal mobile phones then they lose those people as potential customers.

OK Congress we need another law because T-Mobile will not do the right thing for the right reasons. We need a law that requires that all mobile operators have a list of stolen phones by IMEI number and that all accounts must match the IMEA number given when the account is setup and if a person changes phones, they must also advise the mobile operate of the new IMEI number. and the mobile provider must have a way to monitor the IMEI number whenever the phone number for that phone come active. This way there is no way a stolen phone can be reused and so there is no incentive to steal one.

The following is from a mobile phone forum and is dated 2007. I put this here to let people know I am not the only one who believes that the mobile providers have a financial incentive to not help find or block stolen phones. "My conclusion is that Tmobile (and other providers) don't have any motivation to set up any kind of system of helping customers recover their stolen property because they make a lot of money off of it. Honestly, I agree with Counsel, to some extent, that these corporations should be somewhat responsible. That might sound melodramatic to some, but it makes a lot of logical sense to me. Maybe not a class-action lawsuit, but some sort of legislation should be passed requiring them to pass along the information to local police, and let them decide to pursue it or not. What do you guys think?"

What right do people have to go around a neighborhood pretending to sell product when they are just casing the area to see who is home and when?

Friday, January 15, 2010

The Robbery & Corporate Response Part 2

Next there is Tivo…

THEY STOLED THE TIVO?? That has to be the dumbest thing ever to do. You have to register it to work and the minute you try to do that, Tivo is going to have the address of the robber or the idiot they sold it to! That is what I thought. And maybe you would think that too. But not they bosses at Tivo. Why should they let a perfectly good subscription not get sold when they can just not bother to keep track of stolen units. Yes they did transfer the life subscription we have to the new unit they sold us but now they got us buying a second unit and they have the thief buying a new subscription so Tivo makes out like a bandit.

But to be honest I have received a different answer as to what happens if someone tries to activate a stolen and reported Tivo unit. First call I was told that the only thing the Tivo unit would tell them when hooked up was the zip code the unit is in. when I pointed out that for the account they would have the address, name and phone number, the person at Tivo told me, get ready for this, they could have used a stolen card to pay for the activation. Of course they could and when the charge back came would tivo have shut off the subscription or left it on? So if the subscription is still on, then the information is good and if not, then let the police decide what to do with it.

The next call I was told what you would expect them to do, get the information, tell the person there is a people and then give the information to the police.

Then the next time I called I was told they do nothing, there is no list, no red flag and that if I wanted to know if it was reactivated I would have to call constantly to have them check the service number.

It seems that Tivo could help in catch thieves and basically take any incentive out of stealing a Tivo except they make money by having more of them out there. When I posted this on the Tivo forum the response I got for the reason that Tivo might not want to turn in someone with a stolen Tivo is that maybe you gave the Tivo to a friend or an ex and you want it back so you make a false police report and get Tivo to report the person to the police. Or better yet, you are doing it as a prank on someone like your room mate. What a bunch of idiots that would think anyone would risk making a false police report so they can mess with a roommate. More likely they are people who buy stolen property and don’t want to get caught.

I was just watching an episode of Criminal Minds and in it they said that the problem with criminals is that that don't think like us. Well maybe the bosses at Tivo and T-mobile that refuse to help find thieves and robbers also don't think like us and need to have US the honest people, take their business away until they do. For us to contact our law makers and start getting these people to cooperate in catching crooks rather than asking money from them. Someone on the Tivo forum said I should write Tivo. NO, we need to write the people that make the laws to either get Tivo shut down or to get them to play well with the honest people of the community. As far as I am concerned those that aid criminals, are criminals. And those that profit from our suffering need to be dealt with.

Next there is T-mobile and the IMEI Number...

Monday, December 28, 2009

The Robbery & Corporate Response Part 1

Then there is the response we got from all the companies we have had to deal with over this robbery.

1. American Express. Even before we heard about our house being robbed, basically the night after we left, the night we told Cox to reduce the internet speed because we would be gone, I get two emails from the AMEX website saying I requested a new password. That was strange because I did not. So I went to our online account and I can’t get on. Account locked due to too many tries on the password. so I go though the procedure to get a password sent. This is not just a simple thing but requires having the full credit card number and zip code. So I call AMEX fraud and some women in India starts telling me how I have no idea what I am doing and she is sure there is nothing wrong. I then demand someone in the US to talk to and I get hung up on. So I call back and I keep asking for someone in the US and I finally get some guy that at least is civil who then gets someone from fraud on the line. He listens to what I have to say and then says well it much have been some mistake, that someone must have a user name similar to mine and requested a new password he did it on the wrong account. just a simple mistake. He of course ignores the fact that you have to have the card to get the password sent.

Morning comes and I find out that our house was robbed and one of the two credit / debit card taken, was the one for that AMEX account. I later find out that one of the files scattered on my office floor is the file for that card. And that that card is used to buy gas three times. So I call AMEX again. This time I am told that since the card was not authorized at the gas station, there is no crime. But then they find out that they did let two payments through but they can’t tell me where the card was used. They have to protect the privacy of the station. But they will tell the police. Except by the time the police get it together to go to the station, it is two weeks and the only one with a tape, keeps it for only 10 days and besides the guy that makes the backup is on vacation and frankly why should the gas station care, they got their money.

I had originally asked if AMEX had the IP address of the person trying to get into my account and AMEX told me they do not have that information. I have that information on my website, so why would they not have it.

So let me count the ways American Express could have helped catch the robbers. First by taking my call seriously about someone trying to get into my account and giving me the IP address or acting on it themselves to find where it was from because bottom line, once I am reimbursed by them, they are the victims of the crime. Second, they could have given me the address of the stations and I would have acted faster than the police to get any tapes out of them. if not I would have contacted chevron to get involved, the press the radio stations, the mayor of El Cajon and Chula Vista. And Third, AMEX could set standards that require anyone taking their cards to have proper ID or else a high quality image be taken of the person using the card that is never removed from the server and is available to AMEX and the police. Why is it California requires you to demand an ID when you use a credit card but not at a fuel pump? That might be why most stolen credit cards are used to buy gas.

Next there is Tivo…

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Robbery

Our home was robbed. I guess with all the time we are on the road we should feel lucky that it never happened before but that is just making excuses for a horrible experience. Once we were rear ended by a logging truck in Mexico and given all the times we rode the motorcycles in Mexico and other 3rd world places, we were lucky it never happened before or since. But still it did not make it a pleasant experience.

But what makes this worse is that someone had to know we were going to be gone and when and how long because you don’t break open a door to a home with two cars parked in the drive way. There was only two entities, Cox Communication, that knew when we going away and knows where we live. Anyone else been robbed while away that told someone other than friends? Tell us and let's see if there is a nexus.

We should all feel free to get on the bike and take off and not worry that while we are away that the house is being robbed. So now we have joined fortress America and have the alarm, the lights and the attitude that we had for so long refused to accept as part of modern life.

So we have been caught up with getting alarms, canceling credit cards, dealing with insurance companies, getting the door, made in 1926, repaired and even hiring a PI. And what did they get? Old electronics and costume jewelry. Things that cannot be sold because who wants a 10 year old dell laptop or a brooch for holding on a Bulgarian folk dress? Even the new tivo and Iphone are useless since they can and are now shut down from use. More on th reality of this later.

But for Sue the brooch has meaning, just like all the other items in her jewelry box that were taken, they have meaning because she did use the on ethnic clothing when she was younger and did all the folk dancing from these areas of the Balkans and eastern Europe.

Police see home breakins as victimless crimes. That is cold. You people that know how angry Sue gets when another competitor steals one of her design ideas, well you can imagine what stealing her jewelry that made up her life or that of her grandmother is doing to her.

For those who live in the San Diego area, here is what we know. we are looking for two Hispanic guys in a silver SUV. That they are in the El Cajon and Lemon Grove area or in Balboa Blvd area because that is where they used credit cards. At gas stations that have been of no help. More on that later. If you can make copies of the pictures and give them out to everyone you know, every person, shop, restaurant, bar that you go into that would help us. They can call a special number we setup if you find anything 619 591-8773. maybe a $10,000 bounty on the identity of the robbers, proof and location as well as the return of the jewelry is what we should offer.

I know that a lot of you have had motorcycles stolen or your homes broken into. If this works, maybe we can start to work together to get stuff back and stop these people from doing it again.
Stolen Item Images