I have been lax. For two weeks I have not written a column, letting other things get priority. Today I am back and I will be more attentive to my obligations from now on.
One subject on everyone’s mind, is the weather. We are finally having some pretty days with normal seeming temperatures. The weekend was beautiful and simply begged for everyone to get outside and enjoy it. The sunshine is supposed to last until Thursday when we could see some spring storms. The hummingbirds are out in force along with the bees and wasps, so take care as you enjoy the springtime outdoors.
Sadly, Rector said goodbye to an old friend. Mrs. Cleta Simmons passed away last Thursday. At 104 years of age, she was one of Rector’s oldest residents, one of the many people I met soon after moving here who was willing to share stories about my kin folk. She and I had several visits where we sorted through her memories of her early years in Rector as a new wife and found those tidbits that provided me with information about my aunts and uncles and the people they married. I enjoyed our visits and considered her to be one of the jewels of Rector. My condolences go to the family she leaves behind. Quite a legacy. Rest in peace Ms. Cleta.
It seems there is always a scam floating around that gets someone’s attention. No exception this time. I talked about the scary red screen with the warning of a malicious software virus and the “DO NOT TURN OFF YOUR COMPUTER” warning before. It is still going around. First thing you do is turn off your computer even if you have to use the Control/Alt/Delete maneuver to break out of that screen.
Of course, as it is tax time the fraud surrounding tax returns and tax refunds is common. THE IRS WILL NOT CALL YOU. They will not demand payment over the phone. You will be notified of any problems with your taxes by US mail. Do not wire money or give out any personal information to anyone pretending to be from the IRS.
Another annoying ploy that I have experienced several times is that I get a call from a local number and as soon as I answer a recorded message tells me not to hang up. They are calling about either a credit card or some other loan. Please just hang up. Any legitimate business will tell you the name of the caller and the business before they tell you anything else.
These calls that come from a number you may recognize are called “spoofed calls”. Many of them actually originate from overseas. They are using a special technology to hijack numbers that are used near you. They may even use a valid number that you might recognize. These numbers will show up on your caller ID, but the call will be from another number you cannot see. Just hang up. Contact your phone company to see if they have features to help you avoid these annoying calls. And of course, report all scams you receive via phone to: Federal Communications Commission, Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, Consumer Inquiries and Complaints Division, 445 12th Street, SW, Washington, D.C. 20554. Or call (888) 225-5322.
It seems like all the technology that makes our daily life easier and more pleasant is subject to misuse. Stay alert and wary. Don’t become a victim of one of these scams.
On that note I will close for now. As the last day of April bleeds away, we can all look forward to May with end of school activities and graduation promises gathering steam. And really! Summer is just around the corner.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org . Phone number (870) 595-4997. Check out your Rector, Arkansas website: www.rectorarkansas.com from time to time. I love to be told I need to update it and I take all suggestions to heart. Take a look.
Goodbye for now.