Education is key

Most of us would like to believe that there is inherent good in each and every person. But unfortunately, nearly each and every day there is some news report that proves otherwise.

Illustrating this point is information in an article in today’s Post-Record, detailing how Washington residents are among those who have been the targets of a new phone scam where individuals place phone calls requesting money for 9-1-1 emergency services. The caller claims that residents must pay a fee to register their home in a 9-1-1 database, so first responders can locate the home in an emergency. The caller also requests names and medical information from the residents.

Since 9-1-1 services are funded through dedicated excise taxes on telephone bills and by other local government funds, this is clearly a scam.

To many of us, this kind of solicitation would automatically set off warning signals. But unfortunately these low life criminals usually target society’s most vulnerable — often senior citizens and others who can at times be too trusting and may not have family members or friends looking out for their well-being.

For many years one local organization has been working to help educate our senior citizens, as well as their families and caregivers, about how to be protected from these kinds of crimes. Seniors and Law Enforcement Together, a cooperative effort between the Clark County Sheriff’s Office, Camas Police Department and the senior citizens of Clark County, fills an important role in our community.

During its upcoming meeting in Camas, attendees will hear about how to be “street smart.” On April 23, at 11 a.m., at the Camas Police Department, seniors and their families will learn about ID theft and fraud, how to decrease vulnerability and what to do in the event of ID theft.

If we are to protect ourselves and others from becoming victims of scams and other attempts at fraud, education is the key.

For more information about S.A.L.T. and scams, visit www.clark.wa.gov/sheriff/community.

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