Bob Mitchell: Newest rip-off call

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

The newest of the rip-off calls that we have encountered, and which the telephone industry apparently has no method of stopping, is a dilly.

If you haven’t been on your end of one of these calls, consider this your warning!

What happens goes something like this, the phone will ring and the voice on the other end will identify himself or herself, whatever the case might be, as “your oldest grandson, or granddaughter.” Then comes the rip-off that the person is either in trouble or has a debt to pay and needing financial help.

The pitch can be they need funds to maybe make bail to get out of jail so they can pursue the process of proving they are not guilty of an offense, or that they might be stalled in a certain location and needing funds to make their way, maybe to visit you. There are a number of approaches these criminals make to secure your confidence and get into your pocket with a criminal act of securing money.

Sue got the last one of these calls making the approach, “hello grandmother, this is your oldest grandson.” She caught up on the criminal call by asking the question, “which one are you?” After a second response of falsely saying he was her oldest grandson and her response of which one, the line went dead, because this criminal didn’t have a correct name with which to respond.

Secondly, this guy didn’t have the slightest idea that our grandsons would not use the term, “grandmother.”

It’s a poor kettle of fish (one of my mother’s favorite expressions) that the communication industry, with all their technical know-how, can’t devise some method of cutting these people from the use of equipment they are using to contact possible victims.

A second thought

As a second thought on this problem, we’ve started getting a few of these type of calls on our cell phones, which leads us to wonder how these scammers are getting our numbers.

Hopefully, there isn’t a process by which these apparently unlisted and private means of communication isn’t being circulated, by what ever means, and made available for those individuals or concerns that are anxious to prey upon whatever means they choose to take advantage of someone. If this be the case, any individual or firm who is providing this information, without a doubt, needs to be prosecuted.

A submitted idea

Admittedly, it’s too late for the New Year’s Resolutions, but a recently submitted thought for 2018 might still be a good resolution for anyone wanting to be a little late for this year: “Let their be peace, stability, truthfulness, common sense, humility, caring for others, honest and honorable service.” We could all use any or this entire list in our everyday dealings. These might even be on the bucket list for those in charge of leading our nation in these troubling times. Let’s all hope for the very best!

River water for garden

While I was thinking about the recent review of Arzell Ball’s beginning in the Eagle Rock community, it brought to mind another of those folks who scratched out a living in those hills, Ray Skelton. His was a somewhat enhanced life having been a rural mail carrier out of the Cassville Post Office for a full career that permitted him sending all his youngsters through college.

My memory of Skelton will always be about a time when we, as younger folks, once caught crawfish in the Roaring River ford for use in fishing trips to Table Rock Lake.

On one such adventure, we were above the ford when a noise caught our attention, it was a pickup pulling out into the middle of Roaring River. It was loaded with milk cans and out popped Skelton starting a gasoline pump he had in the bed of the vehicle. He promptly began filling the cans with the river water.

Getting the best of our thoughts, we went down stream and inquired of Skelton if his well was in trouble. “Nope,” he replied, “but it might be over worked if our garden was watered from it; besides, this natural water out of Roaring River will make the garden grow better anyway.”

Thoughts about this encounter have entered my mind some of the years when my tomato crop hasn’t been as good as expected. My problem was that there isn’t any pump or milk cans in our household.

This could well be a testimony of getting along, using the best possible methods, back in the days when folks had to use their “noodle” to make the best effort they could with what they could muster to use.

Do you ever wonder if any of these methods will find their way back into our lives in the future? Some of them might useful for everyone to remember.

Bob Mitchell is the former editor and publisher of the Cassville Democrat. He is a 2017 inductee to both the Missouri Press Association Hall of Fame and Missouri Southern State University’s Regional Media Hall of Fame.