Northern Wyoming News - Serving the Big Horn Basin for over 100 years

By Karla Pomeroy
Editor 

Karla's Kolumn: Be Informed

I realize with this column I'm probably preaching to the proverbial choir but I feel compelled to do it anyway, especially this time of year.

 

October 27, 2018

I realize with this column I'm probably preaching to the proverbial choir but I feel compelled to do it anyway, especially this time of year.

I'm imploring our readers and Big Horn Basin residents to be informed residents - about candidates running for office, and about all the various scams that are circulating.

First, be an informed voter. This week we have profiled most of the U.S. Senate, U.S. House, governor, secretary of state, state treasurer and state auditor candidates. State treasurer and auditor candidate profiles can be found in today's issue. We are also profiling in today's issue the two candidates for House District 28.

Candidates who are unopposed, including State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jillian Balow and House District 26 and 27 representatives, Jamie Flitner and Mike Greear, respectively, we have not profiled.

If you read the profiles of each candidates differences become clear. You can decide who shares your voices on how things should be governed and cast your vote accordingly come Nov. 6.

In addition to encouraging you to be an informed voter I encourage you to vote for the best candidate, not according to party. The general election allows you to cast your vote for who you believe is the best candidate. You don't have to vote along party lines, at least when there is a choice. No one will know who you voted for and you are not obligated to tell anyone.

Voting is a right and privilege but there is some responsibility in knowing who you are voting for and why you are voting for that person, and just because that person is the same political affiliation as you is not the best reason to cast your vote that direction.

This next week we will be profiling candidates from nonpartisan races for Worland and Ten Sleep school board and Worland city council. There's more opportunity to be informed before casting your vote.

In addition to being informed, I ask that no matter how the election turns out, whether your candidate wins or not, put your support behind the winners. You can hold them accountable, you can voice your concerns but you can support them for having won the position.

Now, secondly, be informed about scams and know that all the platitudes are correct - there's no such thing as a free lunch, if it sounds to good to be true it is. And double check things.

There have been numerous scams circulating around the area recently - you have won a prize, so you have to pay to receive it. No you don't have to pay. And realize if you didn't enter a contest then you could not have won. I received a call once about having won a prize. I played along for a while. I was to wire money to a Walgreen's (not sure why Walgreen's) but that's what the caller said. I had never entered any contest so I knew I hadn't won. I told him to take the money I owed from winnings - no luck. Finally, I flat out accused him of being a scammer and he hung up on me. Good riddance.

Recently I got a spam call from 1-510-578-5098 saying I had "four serious allegations" against me and if I didn't call them back right away the local police would be coming to take me into custody. This was three weeks ago and guess what, that's right I'm still here because there are no "serious allegations" against me. My understanding in researching this type of call is that it is an IRS scam. But the robocall scammer started the recording as soon as voice mail picked up so voice mail started recording in the middle of the call and I missed the part about the IRS.

There were several clues that this was a scam. First it was not a real person. Second the poor grammar tells me it was not a professional call. Third, again I know I have no serious allegations against me, IRS or otherwise.

There's also a scam circulating again where callers pretend to be someone's family member in trouble and needing money. They are able through social media or other information know real family member names. They make it sound real. They usually target the elderly. If you get one of these calls call another family member to try and confirm, but regardless never give anyone access to your personal information, especially your personal financial information.

We printed the story about the prize scam that is targeting the elderly here in Washakie County and it garnered attention from a woman in Colorado whose parents in southern Wyoming had been targeted by the scam alleging a family member was in trouble. She wants the word to get out that people are being targeted and falling victim to these scams.

I wonder how in this information age people are still falling victim to scams. I know you as a reader of newspapers know to be aware of these scams so I'm asking you to make sure your neighbors and friends are aware of these scams. Help spread the word to put these scammers out of business (which is why I'm publishing the number of the scammer who tried to target me).

Let's end the hold scammers have on us, especially our elderly. Stay informed and help others be informed.

And, as I've said before, in the words of Sergeant Phil Esterhaus of Hill Street Blues "Hey, let's be careful out there."

 
 

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