You receive a call from your grandson. He is in trouble in a foreign country and he needs your help, now! He sounds desperate and you want to help, so you send him a Western Union money order. And you never hear from him again or see your money.
You have probably heard of this scam known as the “Grandparent Scam”. It has been around for years and is just one variation of the imposter scams that deceive thousands of folks every year. And as I learned from The Dalles Police Chief Jay Waterbury, who just last Friday received a call from a person who had lost $1500 from such a scam, it can happen in The Dalles.
But there are several things you should do if you ever receive such a call.
Don’t unknowing provided important information by the way you answer the call. For example, if the caller states, "It's your granddaughter." Don’t reveal your granddaughter’s name. Reply by asking which one and most likely they will then hang up.
Always be skeptical. Ask questions only the grandchild would know. Get in touch with your grandchild or check with family members to confirm their location. Do whatever you can to confirm the information you were told.
Never send money unless you have verified that your relative is really in trouble. If a caller asks for your bank account number or urges you to send money via Western Union or MoneyGram there is an excellent chance the call is a scam.
And if you use Facebook, keep it private by updating your privacy settings. Scammers often make their stories more believable by searching for personal information on Facebook,
Unfortunately if you are a victim of such a scam, as Jay Waterbury can tell you, there is very little the local law enforcement agencies can do. Even so you should immediately report such incidents to local law enforcement agencies and the state Attorney General’s Office.
Meals-on-Wheels will be closed on Monday instead of the 11th so their dedicated staff can have a day off. And on Veterans Day, in honor of the Veterans who served our country, dinner will be free for everyone sixty and over. Dinner will be served at noon and will include turkey and dressing, green bean casserole, buttered roll, carrot salad and pumpkin pie.
If you agree with the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche who wrote "We should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once." you will want to make sure your next Tuesday is not lost by dancing to the music of Martin and Friends at the Center from 7:00 – 9:00 PM. Everyone is welcome and donations are appreciated.
And one last reminder for NW vocalist Nehemiah Brown’s last 2014 performance at the Center on Friday night November 7th. Thanks to the sponsorship by Flagstone Senior Living the cost is still only $3.00 per person. Music starts at 7:00 and ends by 9:00.
At the Tuesday Lecture on the 11th, you will have a chance to take an eighteen minute trip through the history of the universe – all 13.8 billion years! I will be showing a fascinating video presentation by David Christian called “Big History” which “examines our past, explains our present, and imagines our future”.
I found conflicting answers as to the coldest year and month in The Dalles, although every source agreed that 1949-1950 was a very cold winter. But Jerry Phillips remembers January, 1950 when it reached a -25 in The Dalles. He told me the Columbia was so frozen that the ferry couldn’t operate (which made a long trip to Dallesport), a sternwheeler was frozen in a canal; and when the ice did finally break up it was like icebergs flowing down the Columbia. (And for such a good memory, Jerry is the winner of a free Saturday breakfast on December 20th.)
Since today is Election Day, this week’s “Remember When” is about Oregon politics. Who served as a U.S. Senator from Oregon for 30 years during which time he was a Republican, Independent and Democrat and whose motto was “principles above politics”? E-mail your answer to firstname.lastname@example.org, call 541-296-4788 or drop it off with a copy of the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution.
Well, it’s been another week trying to keep all my marbles which seems more difficult every day. Until we meet again, and after finishing yet another bitter election season, it might be timely to remember “Everyone has a piece of the truth”.
“Maybe it's true that life begins at fifty. But everything else starts to wear out, fall out, or spread out.” Phyllis Diller