Newspaper Article Archive of
The Kalona News
Kalona, Iowa

Newspaper Article Archive of
The Kalona News

May 30, 2018 Why do scammers target innocent people?
Article Pages -- as published on the The Kalona News website.

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We received one of those scary scam calls last week.

When Helen answered the call, the caller said, this is your oldest grandson. He said he had been in an accident. A friend of his in New York City had died, and he had hit a pregnant woman. So he was in a holding cell in a New York City jail.

He said he did not sound like himself because he had a broken nose and four stitches in his lip. Helen asked if he had had contacted his parents. He told her he only wanted to talk to her.

At that point Helen asked me to get on the phone. When the caller said he was at New York Plaza 1, I told Helen it was a scam and the caller hung up. Our grandson had just mowed our yard the previous evening, and he didn’t have time or the funds to get to New York City.

His mother also checked with Middle Prairie High School to confirm he was in school. The secretary checks to confirm he was actually in the classroom.

I had heard of other similar scams where they call to say they were either a granddaughter or grandson and need money to get out of jail. Some people have been ripped off for several thousand dollars.

The call still shook up Helen, and it took a while for her blood pressure to come down to normal. Still we thought it best to tell the sheriff’s office about the call so others could be made aware of it.

When we got to the sheriff’s office in Washington, we met a deputy who said they were well aware of the calls. He stated that a neighbor had been conned out of $2,000 worth of gift cards. He tracked down the call, and it was from someplace in Canada.

He said his parents had received a similar call. They were alert enough to say they would refer it on to their son who was a deputy sheriff and they hung up.

We had previously had a call about the IRS was going to arrest us if we didn’t pay back taxes which we knew we didn’t owe. Our son and daughter have also received similar scam calls.

• • •

I also have been getting several calls about eligible to receive a $9,000 from the U.S. grants department. I’d asked to be taken off their calling list several times.

So I called the number he said was necessary to have the fund released. There was no answer, but shortly I got a call from what supposedly the New York office of the grants department. He told me I’d have to pay $250 to release the funds. So I again asked to have my name removed from his calling list.

Why is that people keep trying to scam innocent people? Many other scammers are using the internet. Both the telephone and internet are great tools, but it seems as though they are hardly safe to use them. One has to very careful with any of this type of calls.

• • •

Only a day earlier Helen got a call from a friend to alert her that her Facebook Messenger account had been hacked as she receive a message that was from Helen, and it wasn’t Helen who sent it. So Helen had to immediately change her passwords with Facebook and Facebook Messenger.

Scammers and hacks are running wild. Be cautious.

• • •

We would like to extend our compliments to the Mid-Prairie High School shop class for building a new maintenance shed at the Mid-Prairie East (Kalona) Elementary School. They spent about an hour after lunch for several days to construct the building, and they did a very nice job.

• • •

One day last week when Logan and I were going downtown to pick up the mail, Mid-Prairie was conducting an evacuation drill of school buses. Later we learned the Mid-Prairie was the first school district in Iowa to practice such a drill with the assistance of the law enforcement officials, and they plan to do such a drill for all students twice a year.

• • •

Mid-Prairie has also taken action to restrict entry to all buildings. I have been mentoring a couple of fifth-grade students at the middle school. As the year progressed the school installed a buzzer-camera system to gain entry.

You must push a button and wait for the secretary to release the lock so you can open the door. When you push the buzzer, the secretary can see you on their computer screen.

All buildings have this restricted entry system. This should give parents some relief in light of the shooting in southern schools this year.

It is a shame this type of entry is necessary. Some insane people have cost the expense of installing this type of security entry at numerous buildings and airports.

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