Briefs: Kentucky Warns Against Phone Scam, Smartphones on the Battlefield

Kentucky health officials say phone scam seeks sensitive information from restaurants; U.S. Army aims to arm soldiers with smartphones.

by / December 7, 2010
Illustration by Tom McKeith

Kentucky Warns of Phone Scam

Kentucky Department for Public Health officials are warning that restaurants in the state are at risk of a nationwide telephone scam. Individuals claiming to be from the health department call restaurants and ask to set up a time for an inspection and also threaten monetary fines for noncompliance.

The incidents have all involved callers requesting sensitive information about restaurants and their staff. The caller then tells the restaurant to use another number for scheduling an inspection, according to the department’s Commissioner William Hacker.

“Though agents from the local, state and federal health agencies departments routinely inspect Kentucky food establishments, advance scheduling of an inspection is not a normal procedure,” said Kathy Fowler, acting director of the Division of Public Health Protection and Safety, in a statement.

The Kentucky Department for Public Health’s Food Safety Branch is assisting the state attorney general’s office with the investigation.


Army to Get Smartphones on the Battlefield

The U.S. Army plans to implement smartphone technology onto the battlefield within the next year, Army officials said. To reduce costs, the Army plans on using existing commercial technology and modifying the phones to make them more rugged and secure for soldiers.

Officials said they will most likely initially focus on 3G technologies and pull in newer technologies as they become more commonly available on the commercial side. Researches are currently trying to figure out how to download applications from a central, secure site similar to an app store. The Army has put out a request to smartphone providers for ideas on how to get the customized smartphone apps to the soldiers by fall 2011.

Source: Federal News Radio