Former CIA Officer Jason Hanson Reveals...

Spy Secrets That Can

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Get Out Alive

Mailbag Monday

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Is there a way to call someone using someone else’s phone number? I have been getting a lot of calls where when I call back, the number has been disconnected.

-From Brandon B.

Answer: Unfortunately, this is a common way that scammers will trick you into answering their phone calls. There are multiple apps that can be used to spoof a phone number.

Essentially, someone can call your phone and make any number they want appear on the caller ID. For example, I once received a phone call on my phone from my own number.

If the scammer keeps calling from the same phone number, you can block that specific number. Also, you should contact your wireless carrier to ask them if there are are any features you can add to your plan to block spam calls.


I use Kaspersky antivirus software. It’s been my go to for security the past few years. But, I’ve learned that it’s a Russian company. Now, I’m concerned they are using the antivirus software to spy on me. Any suggestions what to do?

-From John T.

Answer: Kaspersky is a major player in the anti-virus software market. However, I would consider using different anti-virus software.

The U.S. has banned Kaspersky from government computers based on allegations that the Russian company has ties to their government.

While the risk is likely minimal for the average person, I would consider choosing different anti-virus software just to be safe.


I’ve recently taken a new job at a tech company that is headquartered in China. I will be working in the U.S., but I will travel to China frequently. Should I be concerned working for a company that is based in China?

-From Rebecca S.

Answer: First, I definitely would check out the company you will be working for and find out whether they have done a lot of work in the U.S. Do a lot of research to make sure they are legit.

I would be cautious working for them if they are a Chinese company since I wouldn’t want to share any personal information such as my Social Security Number, etc.

As far as the tech industry goes, they will probably be looking to gain intelligence on U.S. companies and ideas. So, I would approach this opportunity with caution and just make sure it’s not a shell company for the government looking to extract information from you.


If you turn off your GPS on your smartphone, law enforcement cannot trace your phone location using GPS, only cell phone towers you have used. Is this correct?

-From Jerry L.

Answer: Even if your smartphone’s GPS is turned off, your phone’s location can still be tracked. The thing is, most people who use smartphone’s typically have multiple applications downloaded to their phone.

These applications can still give away your location even if you have denied the app access to your GPS. For example, let’s say you use a fitness app on your phone.

This would still use data and sensors on your phone, which could potentially give away your location. Even the clock on your phone gives away your location.

For instance, when the GPS is turned off, the time on your phone still changes if you change time zones. In other words, if you want to completely avoid being tracked don’t use a smartphone, get an older flip phone.


If I come home and my front door is open how do I tactically clear the house to make sure no one is inside?

-From Chris R.

Answer: First, it is never a good idea to clear a home or any building with just one person. So, avoid it if at all possible, and call the police who will show up with multiple people to do it.

But, if you must do it by yourself, the key is to practice. So, shut off all your lights and practice clearing your house at night.

Obviously, you know the layout of your home, but the more you practice clearing your house, the better prepared you will be.

Don’t forget to take your time and to “slice the pie.” And, when you enter a room, you’ve got to scan the entire room fast since you’re all by yourself and don’t have others taking certain parts of the room.


What are your thoughts about black berry phones? Are they old enough that they don’t have GPS that tracks you?

-From Tiffany T.

Answer: Most BlackBerry phones still had GPS capabilities, therefore they could potentially track your movements.

As we all know, BlackBerry was once one of the best-selling smartphones.

They were widely popular phones known for their email capabilities and were thought of as business focused smartphones.

My point is, Black Berry phones were well ahead of their time and came with GPS long before it became a tracking concern. They aren’t any more secure than our current smartphone lineup.


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