Also, if only all bureaucracies worked as well as UK's! I don't mind filling loads of forms if they actually solve my problem in time - which was not always the case in other countries I lived in.
Agreed - the explanation seems weird. I'm not sure about Nokia patching scene, but most of the Siemens *45, *55, *65 phones could be completely reprogrammed and were well understood. SL45 was one of the best examples - it's annotated assembler firmware was so nice to work with that people simply wrote binary patches in assembler, or used C compiler + binary patched some jump addresses. There were complete design notes circulating on P2P networks. I'm not sure what can be so specific to Nokia 1100 that they don't want to reprogram any other device.
Even better - if they're good enough to reprogram Nokia to interact directly with SIM and GSM module, why won't they just buy GSM modules themselves and clone some random SIM cards? It's not like GSM transmitters are some controlled goods available only to Nokia et al. If you can afford 100 of them, they should be quite easy to obtain.
So yeah - it seems there's something more going on here. Or they're just some script kiddies who bought a "hacking technique" from someone more advanced and now they can only replicate the issue on that one device.
I could never do that research in my house. "Look honey, this is my new remote controlled..." MEOW! *swat* *nom nom nom*
A wife that goes "MEOW" and eats bugs would really disturb me. But if you like that...
Do they have some kind of special wiring that can detect whether it's her grandkids calling or an angry scam victim?
Actually, they know which provider sent in the call. So they can point at the original company that allows spoofing.
Can they reach their fingers through the lines and stop the scammers from spoofing the old lady's phone number even through the call probably doesn't originate or even necessarily terminate on their lines?
I'm not sure which company regulates telecomunication laws in US, but I guess they have the authority to force it on PSTN and they *are* interested.
And the FBI. What do they have to go on? They know that someone, somewhere is spoofing her phone number. I'm not sure that is even illegal. So what basis do they have to justify the expense of an investigation?
I guess they will be interested if someone can spoof any number. Otherwise, you can call anyone passing yourself as a local FBI worker ("you can compare my caller id with your phonebook, I'm an FBI agent")
I've had my email address used by spammers as their return address.
Only clueless people will respond to a spammer - there is no defence here. But if someone blames you, you can easily prove you're right by email headers.
She should change her phone number.
Will you sponsor her new line, send notifications to all her friends&family and spend time correcting contact details in the bank, insurance company, etc.?
No problem is so large it can't be fit in somewhere.