Although Jay Monahan, the late husband of television personality Katie Couric, died of colon cancer in 1998, a string of mysterious calls from a phone number still registered in his name have put the former "Today Show" host
Every Tuesday at 2 a.m., the Monahan phone line in Couric's apartment dials 911, Couric told her studio audience during a break in taping a recent episode of her program "Katie
"It's happened like three times the last three weeks, every time at 2 a.m.,” said Couric. "I was out of town the last time it happened and apparently it happened before when nobody was home."
More than once, police have reported to Couric's apartment to investigate the call. A police source told the New York Daily News
at least 10 calls have come in from the number.
This past Tuesday, emergency operators returned the call, causing the phone to ring in Couric's apartment and wake her up, she told her audience. One audience member said Couric appeared tired at the taping.
Couric said she even contacted New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly to ask what she should do.
"So I called Ray Kelly, who I know just through the years seeing at different things. 'Ray, this is so weird but can you help me? I don’t know what to do,'" Couric told the audience.
While the source of the calls remained a mystery Friday, the Daily News reported that a prankster is likely responsible. An online security expert told the newspaper that a "spoofing service" is at fault.
"The service manipulates the phone system," said Robert Siciliano, who works with McAfee security. "It essentially tells the caller ID that another number is calling you."
He added that the prank is easy to accomplish. One only needs access to online software, or to download an application to a smartphone. The user then just needs to key in the number he or she wishes to appear on the caller ID of the receiver.
"The fact that it's not being used more widely is surprising," he said.
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