July 27, 2022

Just My Opinion - By Mary Kilen

When Scams Abound
The scammers are getting ridiculous. How many times have you seen a text from “Amazon” that there has been suspicious activity on your account? For me it was an iPhone and then an iPad. I deleted both texts and went about my day. I’ve also been getting the text about my PayPal account being restricted for the same basic reasons. Again, I deleted the texts and went about my day.
Truthfully, because I’m also a cautious person, I also logged into both of those accounts just to be sure there wasn’t something going on. There was no way, however, that I was going to click on the link and follow the directions. It’s all annoying, but easy to ignore. You just delete the text and it’s gone.
I even got a phone call on my cellphone from a restricted number that said it was Amazon calling about a Mac Book pro purchase. Amanda and I joked that seemed legit. We joked I should give them my bank account and credit card info, and maybe even my date of birth, email and password.
The scary part is that some people fall for these scams. People have lost so much money and the chances of getting it recovered are slim.
Last Friday things got out of hand at our house. This time it was a “restricted number” and “private caller” on our house phone. I missed the first call Dale answered, but got home in time for the second one. I looked at him strangely while he yelled “no” into the phone and then explained it was “Amazon” about another iPhone purchase.
It rang a third time and I answered it this time to hear the recorded voice telling me to press 1 to deny the charge and 2 to accept the charge. I hung up. These three phone calls all happened within about 20 minutes of each other.
I  left to go back to work and came home to find that Dale had let the calls go to the answering machine. There were four new messages, all with the same information. Of course, the first part of the message was missing since the robocall starts talking immediately on pickup and doesn’t allow for the answering machine message.
It was so bad that Dale decided to unplug the phone line. We maybe could have just turned off the answering machine, but unplugging seemed reasonable as well. Most people that need to get in contact with us know our cellphone numbers and our landline rarely rings anyway.
We talked about it and said that maybe if the phone didn’t get answered at all it would break the cycle. Our guess was that the scammer system was hoping that at some point we would push either one or two to get them to go away.
We finally plugged the line back in on Saturday night and the calls seem to have finally stopped. It was seriously annoying. If it happens again, we’ll reach out to the Attorney General’s office, but it seems like there isn’t much they can do with no phone number showing up on the caller ID.
I’m just sharing our story with readers in the hopes that if it happens to you, you can learn from our experience. I hope that you don’t experience it. It was about as annoying as anything can get.
A Day At The Fair
Dale and I made our first trip to the fair on Saturday. We made plans to get there in time for the parade as it entered the fairgrounds. With our friend John Woodbury and his family part of the Cowboy Hall of Fame’s Grand Marshall floats, I wanted to get pictures for this week’s paper.
We figured we could make a day of it. We could take some pictures during the early part of the parade and then spend the day wandering the fairgrounds. It was almost a perfect day at the fair. Temperatures were comfortable with a “breeze” blowing throughout the day.
We checked out the commercial buildings and went through the display house. We wandered around looking at other displays and even took one pass through the midway just because.
We also got our first round of fair foods. There are so many food choices that we know it will take multiple trips to the fair to make our way through the ones we want to try the most.
We also took in a couple of the free stages. We watched the divers which truthfully was a good time to take a break and sit down for a while and be entertained at the same time. We watched the MHA dancers again this year, too. If you didn’t get a chance to check them out, you really missed a great experience. The colors, the stories, the beauty of the dances and the history in the stories all made that an amazing experience again this year.
I know we’ll be headed back to the fair again this week at least once or twice. We still have some free stages to check out and I need to wander through the State Fair Center and check out the entries from the Mountrail County 4-H’ers. It looks like the weather should be good for most of the fair, too. That will help a lot. I can’t do the extreme heat the way I used to and it’s no fun being on the fairgrounds just looking for ways to cool off.