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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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Live Smarter
Make Spreadsheets a Whole Lot Easier With This Excel Trick
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While data nerds may love a good spreadsheet, many office workers open Microsoft Excel with a certain amount of resistance. Inputting data can be a monotonous task. But a few tricks can make it a whole lot easier. Business Insider has a new video highlighting one of those shortcuts—a way to create a range that changes with the data you input.

Dynamic named ranges change and grow with your data, so, for instance, if one column is time and another is, say, dollar value, the value can change automatically as time goes on. If you do this, it's relatively easy to create a chart using this data, by simply inserting your named ranges as your X and Y values. The chart will automatically update as your range expands.

It's easier to see in the program itself, so watch the full video on Business Insider. Microsoft also has its own instructions here, or you can check out this video from the YouTube channel Excel Tip, which also has dozens of other useful tutorials for making Microsoft Excel your hardworking assistant.

[h/t Business Insider]

Marshall McLuhan, the Man Who Predicted the Internet in 1962

Futurists of the 20th century were prone to some highly optimistic predictions. Theorists thought we might be extending our life spans to 150, working fewer hours, and operating private aircrafts from our homes. No one seemed to imagine we’d be communicating with smiley faces and poop emojis in place of words.

Marshall McLuhan didn’t call that either, but he did come closer than most to imagining our current technology-led environment. In 1962, the author and media theorist (who is the subject of today's Google Doodle) predicted we’d have an internet.

That was the year McLuhan, a professor of English born in Edmonton, Canada on this day in 1911, wrote a book called The Gutenberg Galaxy. In it, he observed that human history could be partitioned into four distinct chapters: The acoustic age, the literary age, the print age, and the then-emerging electronic age. McLuhan believed this new frontier would be home to what he dubbed a “global village”—a space where technology spread information to anyone and everyone.

Computers, McLuhan said, “could enhance retrieval, obsolesce mass library organization,” and offer “speedily tailored data.”

McLuhan elaborated on the idea in his 1962 book, Understanding Media, writing:

"Since the inception of the telegraph and radio, the globe has contracted, spatially, into a single large village. Tribalism is our only resource since the electro-magnetic discovery. Moving from print to electronic media we have given up an eye for an ear."

But McLuhan didn’t concern himself solely with the advantages of a network. He cautioned that a surrender to “private manipulation” would limit the scope of our information based on what advertisers and others choose for users to see.

Marshall McLuhan died on December 31, 1980, several years before he was able to witness first-hand how his predictions were coming to fruition.


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