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If You Get a Call From a 473 Area Code, It’s Probably a Scam

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There’s a good reason not to pick up the phone when a number from an unfamiliar area code calls: It might be a scammer, and it could cost you a chunk of money.

Some relatively common phone scams can be identified by the area code they come from, Joseph Steinberg writes for Inc. Unless you know someone from the Caribbean who would be calling you, numbers that start with 473 or other area codes from Caribbean islands are likely to have a scam artist on the other end of the line. That’s because Caribbean phone numbers use the same country code (+1) as the U.S., so the numbers look domestic even though they’re international calls.

Because those 473 calls are international, if you call or text those numbers it will cost you a premium per minute or message. In order to get you to call them back, the scammers will call and hang up immediately in quick succession. They might ask you to text them back, too, or pretend someone on their end of the line is in danger and needs help.

The key is not to give in to your curiosity. If someone really does want to get ahold of you, they’ll probably leave a voicemail or call back. If the call is not coming from your area code, it’s less likely that it’s a call from someone legitimate whose number you don’t know—like a doctor’s office or your pharmacy.

This type of scam doesn’t always come from a 473 number. These, as Steinberg writes, are some other international area codes that you might think are from the U.S. when they pop up on your phone:

242: Bahamas
441: Bermuda
784: St. Vincent and Grenadines
246: Barbados
473: Grenada, Carriacou, and Petite Martinique
809, 829, and 849: Dominican Republic
264: Anguilla
649: Turks and Caicos
868: Trinidad and Tobago
268: Antigua
664: Montserrat
876: Jamaica
284: British Virgin Islands
721: Sint Maarten
758: St. Lucia
869: St. Kitts and Nevis
345: Cayman Islands
767: Dominica

There is a longer list of other North American area codes from U.S. territories and Canada that you might want to watch out for on Inc.

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History
The Queen of Code: Remembering Grace Hopper
By Lynn Gilbert, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons

Grace Hopper was a computing pioneer. She coined the term "computer bug" after finding a moth stuck inside Harvard's Mark II computer in 1947 (which in turn led to the term "debug," meaning solving problems in computer code). She did the foundational work that led to the COBOL programming language, used in mission-critical computing systems for decades (including today). She worked in World War II using very early computers to help end the war. When she retired from the U.S. Navy at age 79, she was the oldest active-duty commissioned officer in the service. Hopper, who was born on this day in 1906, is a hero of computing and a brilliant role model, but not many people know her story.

In this short documentary from FiveThirtyEight, directed by Gillian Jacobs, we learned about Grace Hopper from several biographers, archival photographs, and footage of her speaking in her later years. If you've never heard of Grace Hopper, or you're even vaguely interested in the history of computing or women in computing, this is a must-watch:

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Google
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Animals
Watch Christmas Island’s Annual Crab Migration on Google Street View
Google
Google

Every year, the 45 million or so red crabs on the remote Australian territory of Christmas Island migrate en masse from their forest burrows down to the ocean to mate, and so the female crabs can release their eggs into the sea to hatch. The migration starts during the fall, and the number of crabs on the beach often peaks in December. This year, you don’t have to be on Christmas Island to witness the spectacular crustacean event, as New Atlas reports. You can see it on Google Street View.

Watching the sheer density of crabs scuttling across roads, boardwalks, and beaches is a rare visual treat. According to the Google blog, this year’s crabtacular finale is forecasted for December 16, and Parks Australia crab expert Alasdair Grigg will be there with the Street View Trekker to capture it. That is likely to be the day when crab populations on the beaches will be at their peak, giving you the best view of the action.

Crabs scuttle across the forest floor while a man with a Google Street View Trekker walks behind them.
Google

Google Street View is already a repository for a number of armchair travel experiences. You can digitally explore remote locations in Antarctica, recreations of ancient cities, and even the International Space Station. You can essentially see the whole world without ever logging off your computer.

Sadly, because Street View isn’t live, you won’t be able to see the migration as it happens. The image collection won’t be available until sometime in early 2018. But it’ll be worth the wait, we promise. For a sneak preview, watch Parks Australia’s video of the 2012 event here.

[h/t New Atlas]

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