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Readers’ Corner

Dixie Redfearn

Scam alert: Reader Gail Tagart of Grass Valley has another scam alert. The scam is by e-mail, purportedly sent by U.S. Bank, and the header field will usually say something like “online banking issue” or “USBANK.COM URGENT NOTIFICATION.” Gail called the bank, and they verified that the two e-mails she received did not come from the bank. It is a ploy to solicit your private and personal credit information. Be very careful with anything like this and never give out your banking information through e-mail! Better to be safe than sorry! Gail wants to warn people about Lottery scams, as well. She said she’s received several notices about winning lotteries, but she hasn’t entered one in years.

Meltdown update: Sharon Simpson said the Meltdown Phase 2 is going well. Remember, the meetings are on Tuesday nights at Club Sierra and are free. At the last meeting, one of the things they did was pass around a set of 20-pound weights to feel what it’s like to carry around 20 extra pounds! On Tuesday, Melinda Burgaff will speak to the group on setting and reaching goals. The meetings begin at 6:30 p.m.

E-mail hoax: There is so much information over the Internet that it’s easy to believe everything you read. Obviously, if you go to an American Cancer Society site – or any reputable organization – you probably are getting the truth. But when it comes to e-mail, be very careful. I received an e-mail last week from a good friend that carried a warning. It said a woman was pulled over by a nonpolice vehicle with flashing lights and she was cautious – she didn’t get out, but just rolled down her window. The person who pulled her over said he was a police officer in plain clothes and an unmarked car. The woman was suspicious and called #77 on her cell phone because she had been told that that would connect her to a police dispatcher. In the e-mail, the dispatcher tells the woman to drive away because they have no police officers in the area. HOWEVER, I gave the e-mail to our public safety reporter, Roman Gokhman, to check out with the real police. He took it to our Sheriff’s Department, which pronounced it a hoax. The myth-debunking Web site http://www.snopes.com says it might have stemmed from some sort of true story, but that only a few states use #77 to reach highway patrol officers. Just use 911 if you feel you’re in danger.

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Dixie Redfearn can be reached at 477-4238 or by e-mail at dixier@theunion.com, or by fax at 477-4292.


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