Corner Copy

By Mike Austreng, Editor

After last weeks Corner Copy we received an email thanking us for the warnings about scams. The writer wanted to pass along more information about how tricky scam artists can be – it isn’t always about the “fast buck”. So, here’s another warning that you may find interesting and maybe a little disturbing because it backs up our thoughts about how it’s becoming more and more difficult to trust people – in this case the warning goes a step beyond the normal scam artist and into people we might meet and believe we can trust.

There are scam artists that will invest a fair amount of time searching for their next victim by joining clubs, business organizations or support groups. They become regular attendees and seem legitimate, trustworthy members. Friendships form. Personal information is gathered. Trust is gained. Suddenly they have an emergency, unexpected bill or a family member in need of medical care they can’t afford. They don’t know how or where to get some money quickly for their financial situation. Maybe you or someone you know could LEND them some cash. They would be SO GRATEFUL FOR ANY HELP. Bingo! They have you hooked. You want to help, like any good Christian friend would. You know them. You trust them. Surely they wouldn’t lie to you. But they just did. They played you and you became their newest prey. They might even have a second “need” like a car repair or another medical complication. If you are kind and generous again, you will surely hear more tragic financial pleas until you realize you are being scammed. When you stop funding their “needs” they disappear to another source. This has happened locally and to more than one fellow member of a support group. When two of the original members started comparing the miscellaneous “tragedies” their new “friend” was “suffering” they concurred they were being scammed and their friend was no longer coming back to the support group. Law enforcement could only offer sympathy since all of the “funding” had been voluntary. They took a report with little possibility of any conviction or repayment. Sadly this can be a costly lesson and may cause mistrust in legitimate needs or fundraisers.

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When we moved brother Don and his wife Kathy to Florida in the middle of December there was some talk about us joining them there by moving from Minnesota.

Timing isn’t good for that right now, but last week’s below zero weather made us think about it and wonder if maybe it might be a good idea. Yes, we’ve become a wimp when it comes to below zero temperatures.

We remember when we were a kid the weather never bothered us. We’d go outside in the snow for hours and never thought to complain.

During our middle years we used to snowmobile and ice fish and still didn’t mind the freezing cold weather unless it prevented our car (or truck) from starting.

Today we don’t even like walking out to our vehicle to go home from work. The cold air just seems much, much colder as we approach retirement age. Yes, we are a cold weather wimp.

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We try to avoid politics in this corner of the newspaper because we know that what’s said can rub people the wrong way. This week we can’t avoid saying something about the impeachment process and pending trial of our President. This has gone on for a long time. It seems the subject has been on the news daily for many months. It was a given that the House would pass the vote to impeach since it is controlled by Democrats.

In our opinion there are a lot of other more important issues that our elected officials could be working on. We shouldn’t need to give too many examples, but one is how insurance is controlling our health care system.

We’ve heard several stories from people who have gone to the doctor, been advised what to do (what drugs to take, or what procedures should follow for relief) only to find out their insurance will not pay the costs.

We know people who have been advised by their doctor to consider a certain minor surgery, only to be told by their insurance company that they will need to take certain steps before surgery would be approved. We understand this to a point – if the steps prior to surgery (physical therapy or maybe some sort of injection, or both) weren’t taken there would be doctors who might jump right to surgery when it really wasn’t necessary so delaying surgery probably isn’t the worst situation in most cases.

How about what medicines you take? We know people who have experienced times when their doctor might tell them to take a certain drug but their insurance company won’t pay for it so they “settle” for a different one that might accomplish the same results. Care is being dictated by insurance. True, we could elect to pay the cost of the drug out of our own pocket, but most drugs not covered by insurance are very expensive and for most of us they are unaffordable. Besides, isn’t that what we pay premiums for? At our age the premium is costing more than our house payment.

Congress works for us, the taxpayers, and the time they’ve spent chasing the impeachment process has become unacceptable. We know there are readers who will not agree with this, but it frustrates us to no end that so much time, effort, and money has been spent on impeaching our President when we all know there are much more serious problems within the borders of the United States. How about our homeless? How about our roads and bridges? We’ve already mentioned our broken health care system that has to be very frustrating to the doctors and nurses trying to care for the sick and injured.

What’s most frustrating is that our lawmakers will spend a lot more time chasing this impeachment process and it is very unlikely our President will be impeached because Republicans control the Senate. Maybe this whole process is being done to try giving a Democrat a better chance at winning the election later this year???

Have A Good Week!

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