Monday, November 7, 2011

Scam artists: Beware of letter writers

We get a lot of letters and news tips from readers who want to warn the public about scams -- mail scams, phone scams, online scams, bogus home service scams...

Resources often lead us to suggest they write a letter to the editor, allowing us to get their warning out there. And that often seems to do the trick -- it at least gets folks talking.

That was the case today, after Sunday's publication of Ardyth Heemskerk's Letter to the Editor. She wrote about workers who tried to scam them during an air-conditioning duct work service.

I have been scammed. I am writing this in the hope that this can be stopped. I will not mention any names, but people who have also fallen for this will know who I am talking about...

Editorial Page Editor Chris Wille forwarded me an encouraging note this morning, noting how the letter had connected two readers with a problem in common.

This reminds me of how small things mean so much to readers. (A reader) called this morning, hoping to connect with the letter writer who cited a scam over the weekend. I sent her contact information to that writer.

What Chris heard back:
Dear Chris,
Thank you for telling us about (the reader's) experience. We called her. She told us the same thing happened to her and thought they were victimizing older people who were brought up to believe what other people tell them.
She also reads the letters to the editor and appreciates the fairness in your selection of letters.
We appreciate your help.
Thanks so much,
Ardith and Bill Heemskerk

Now that's community outreach.

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