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So just as the police and sheriff are telling me there is a surge in economic crimes in the county, our office gets hit with a credit card scam.
Advertisers are calling and coming into the office after being contacted by someone - with from a blocked phone number - saying they are from the "Chiefland Bulletin" and they need credit card information to update their records.
A call to the Levy County Sheriff's Office confirms
that one customer has already called them to make a report. Chiefland
Police Chief Robert Douglas sends Officer Nick Viaggio over to take a
report as the staff quickly calls each customer to warn them about the
scam and to remind them to never give that kind of information to a
Our Web site gets a "breaking news" warning, readers
get an email, and Twitter followers of News4Levy get a "tweet". Our
sister publications and employees off for the day also get calls
alerting them. We are urging anyone contacted to report it to
This is nothing new. Times are hard and it brings
out the worst in some people who think your hard-earned cash should
belong to them.
Several weeks ago I dealt with a parent whose child had been taken
by a check scam that got the young adult arrested. The family had to
cover the worthless check that he cashed at a bank after he received
it by overnight mail for an e-bay transaction. The charges were dropped
against the young man, but still, his family is out thousands of
A couple of years ago I did battle with a delivery
service about charges for items I did not ship. It changed the
relationship forever when they said even though I did not use their
service I had to pay because my account was used. And since I was
denying I shipped the stuff they would close my account. Good riddance.
My credit card company went to bat for me when they got the paperwork
with other people's signatures and my credit card number. The credit
card company was nice enough to delete the charges and tell the
shipping company they got it wrong and would not be paid.
It's always something nowadays. Someone steals
information from the web. A former co-worker steals information off
your laptop. A neighbor steals checking account info off the mail in
your road box.
It makes you long for a cash-only economy. But
then, that leaves you open to being accosted by an armed robber
wanting your bankroll.
In addition to our office being hit, the sheriff's
department is reporting a zooming increase in property crims,
especially burglaries in the past six months. Actually it has been the
past year that property crimes have been going up.
All this comes as the sheriff's budget is being cut
and the Chiefland Commission tries to hold the line on its police
We need to be more responsible. No longer can we
leave our doors unlocked. Don't leave anything of value in your vehicle.
What it means is we all need to look out for
ourselves and others. Get to know your neighbors, even if you don't
They may be the folks who, when crime hits, will provide
vital information to officers that will help solve the