QUESTION: I’ve been wanting to know how callers can get away with a listing of ‘private name/private number’ when dialing my home. I pay for caller ID (name and number identification), so how does this happen? Of course, I don’t answer, on principle; but I would really like to know how someone can get such a listing! (Can I get it, too?)

ANSWER: We checked with Louisiana Public Service Commission spokesman Colby Cook, who said he’s not aware of an agency that can prevent the technology, which is legally available. But he adds this advice from the PSC:

“Most phone books provide instructions how you may block delivery of your number to the phone number you are dialing. Caller ID will display only what information is available, and this information can be influenced by many factors, including apps and services specially designed to block or disguise the actual caller.

“Using these services is not illegal; however, wary consumers should be aware that criminals calling with the intent to scam or defraud will often use available technology to cloak their true identities.

“If you feel you are a victim of ID spoofing for the purposes of defrauding or otherwise causing harm, in violation of the Federal Communications Commission Truth in Caller ID Act, you may let the FCC know by calling 1-888-CALL-FCC or filing a complaint at

Trashy site

QUESTION: I visited my daughter in Austin, Texas, and was amazed at how clean the city was. If there was any debris in the street in the morning, it was picked up by evening. I frequently drive down Interstate 10 to O’Neal Lane, and there are three light posts on the ground at this exit which have been there for at least a month. Also, at the intersection of O’Neal Lane and Medical Center Drive at the Ochsner entrance there is debris all over the road and pieces of concrete on the median which have also been there for at least a month. Who is responsible for cleaning up these messes so we also can have a city to be proud of?

ANSWER: Anastasia Semien, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Transportation and Development, says the agency administers a maintenance contract for street sweepers to pick up trash and debris along the interstate in East Baton Rouge Parish on a consistent basis.

“Our maintenance crews are also dispatched whenever there is major debris on the roadways. Specifically, DOTD picks up approximately 30 tons of trash and debris per month on the interstate system (I-10, I-12 and I-110) in East Baton Rouge Parish.

“DOTD reminds motorists to do their part by not littering. This will not only save resources that could be rerouted to other improvement projects, but will also help keep Louisiana clean and beautiful.”

Amen to that!

Got a question?

Send your queries to Ask The Advocate, 7290 Bluebonnet Blvd., Baton Rouge, LA 70810; or fax to Ask The Advocate, (225) 388-0371; or email