Saturday, August 4, 2018

Beware ... Thieves Are Everywhere!

They come in the middle of the night and steal from you without you ever knowing. I've had several versions of wireless internet, from Sprint to AT&T to Verizon.  I NEVER use anyone else's WiFi.  If mine doesn't have a signal in the location I'm at, I jump in the Jeep and drive to where it does have one.

My devices have always had crazy long and complicated passwords, so I never really worried ... or checked ... to see if anyone was stealing my air time.

Wasn't I surprised to find out yesterday that someone had hacked my JetPack and was using my data at MY expense.  When I tried to log on to my account to see what was going on, it wouldn't let me in.  It was completely locked up since someone had been trying to access it so many times.  Funny thing is, that was probably the easiest password I had.
I rarely use more than 3 or 4 gigabytes of data.  In a matter of four short days, they were up to 9 GB.  Since it was so early in the morning, I chose the CHAT option.  I explained everything as I was trying to log on to my Verizon account.

When I was finally granted access, it was sheer luck that I had all the required passwords with me to change everything on the account and the JetPack.  They have charged me $45 overage fees, which they say can be reversed as soon as the cycle ends, which is today.

It took 90 minutes on the computer chat to get that noted on my account.  Now to figure out how they did it.  I never open anything from anyone I don't know, nor do I click on pop-ups.  I always close everything down, then go back online to the stated website.  10 times out of 10, it has been a scam of some sort.  This one is puzzling however.  I'm thinking they did it through my computer, but I'm not sure how.

From now on I will have to verify my data usage every couple of days, which I used to be able to do on the unit itself.  It seems Verizon has figured out a way to make you buy new WiFi units.  The device I have shows my data usage ... or at least it USED to.  They are not providing that information any more on the old devices so you will buy a new one where it DOES show up.

The alternative is to log in to your account to be able to check.  It's a pain, but I'm stubborn.  This JetPack works just fine .. why do I need to buy another one?

With that done and still irritated over the upcoming conversation to get my $45 back, I checked on my water bill.  Good grief ... it's STILL over the moon.  I wonder if another valve got stuck?  I grabbed my channel lock pliers and headed out to clean every one.  I turned the entire system OFF.  Sorry grass, you're out of luck.

I only got as far as the first one.  As my luck would have it, the anti-siphon side (whatever that is) wouldn't come off.  In frustration, I grabbed the wrong area and twisted the top right off, leaving a gaping hole.  Rats and double rats!!!!  Now I have to buy a whole new assembly just to get the cap.

Off to Home Depot I drove, where I located the Lawn Genie valve for $13.00.  Taking THAT top piece off wasn't as easy, but at least I didn't grab the wrong area and break anything.  I'll plug up that hole in my finger later.
Lucky for me, it fit perfectly and doesn't leak at all, not to mention it is now squeaky clean.  I took the rest of the valve and went to put it in the little cabinet in the garage.  WHAT???  There's another Lawn Genie box sitting right there with a complete valve in it.  I didn't need to make that hour's trip to Home Depot after all!!  At least I have TWO should something break!

It was so hot I couldn't stand another minute outside, so each day I'll clean one valve.  In the meantime, I'm hoping it rains because I'm NOT turning the water back on.

Naturally, the most expensive thing about living in the desert is the water.  It actually costs as much as running my air conditioning all day long.  Weird, right?  You're not in California any more Toto!


  1. We switched from the jet pack to using the hotspot on our phone. It reduced our bill and one less thing to worry about.

    1. Wish I could Jan, but the only way to do that would be to give up my very old AT&T unlimited everything plan, which I can never do. Congrats to the Diamondbacks!!

  2. How to check your water problem find out where the meter is. take your phone camera and take a picture of the meters digital reading
    If you're going to go off for a day that great when you come back before you do anything in the house take a picture of the meter again the number should be the same
    If not you got a leak
    Seeing as how you turned the sprinkling system off if you find that you have a water usage while you're gone you're illuminated the sprinkler system
    The next time you go grocery shop and pick up one of them tidy bowl
    Blue tablets drop one in the tank top. but don't flush it let it sit for a couple hours if the water in the bowl is blue your valves leaks

    1. Hey, I have some of those blue tabs. Hate them, but that's a great way to check out the toilets!! Thank you!!

  3. If you have a fairly password protected secure jet pack
    And you're using data it may being used by another one of your computers your phone your laptop iPad
    When your apps are running in the background of your phone they're using data the same with your laptop and your iPad
    Other than your phone turn all of your computers off we're not in yearsor if you look at your computer or your phone it will say your apps have been updated that's a big indication that you're using data
    If that be the case with an android you can go into the app program and shut them off I'm not sure how Apple phone set up works but you can do it to them as well
    If you have a Internet router with all of your computer is shut off you can look at the indicator lights you should only have two power and Internet anymore of flashing something is running or using that system
    I think a jet pack is similar to the same thing it's either a slow flash or fast flash to indicate online usage ( research to follow )

    1. I checked and you were right. I don't know how it happens, but all the time my phone turns the WiFi setting ON. I turn it off, and magically several days later it's back on. Still, I don't think it would use that much data. We shall see.

  4. Research done
    FYI read

  5. Simple suggestion why don't you find an standalone Internet provider at your California address and find the same company that will provide you service at your Arizona address
    In today's case if you leave tomorrow to go to California shut off Arizona no charge then turn on California and vice versa. If you turn it off you don't pay for it you didn't use it that's the cool part. And turn the jet pack on only when you're using it on the road which is a monthly bill subject to data usage.
    With standalone home Internet no usage is charged you can stream movies 24 seven.all at one low price of your monthly fee
    And if you're in Netflix $9 Hulu $9 or Pandora ? Customer you can get a cheap device which will allow you to watch movies all day long
    Just remember to take care of your pink things first, let your Mexican gardener do your blue things

    1. My problem is there's no company that will provide service in California without losing my satellite television in the rig. They bundle or you get no service.

  6. Good luck with your verizon, glad we don't need it anymore.
    You now have spare parts, but you just have to remember that you have

    1. Unfortunately, it's the only solution I have at this point. First time I've ever had a problem.

  7. If you go to the Verizon website and log in, you can check your usage (as you know) and within that area you can get a detail of exactly WHEN the data was being used. If it was being used while you were at home, then it was a neighbor of friend of a neighbor. If it happened as you were traveling, then it was at a RV park. One thing about the JetPacks, you can try password after password after password without being locked out. There are programs which will do this automatically...which is probably what happened.

    1. FYI
      Log on to Verizon
      Click on "My Usage"
      Click on the JetPack Device
      Click on "View Data Utilization"
      Scroll down and you can see how much used each day there was usage

      NOTE: If they were on at your house, you may want to consider changing every password you have...they may have been monitoring YOUR activity...if at a RV Park, try and remember if you got into your bank, credit card accounts, etc. while at that park.

    2. I was finally able to check the usage. One night it used almost 2 GB in one sitting. Definitely not me. Hoping that changing all my passwords has worked. Time will tell.

    3. Some kid who has been watching porn in your neighborhood is a bit sad now...serves them right! Only thing better would be to catch the little monster and tell the parents.