The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

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Opinion

November 23, 2013

Fake checks -- worthless paper but looks real

(Continued)

If you receive such a check, I am always happy to help you check it out before you lose any money.

Scam alerts

A Clinton woman sent me copies of several emails she received, which seemed to show them as sent by Mediacom, a local cable and Internet provider. She received these from Oct. 25 through Nov. 15. Although the content varies some, the gist of each email is Mediacom notifies the recipient Mediacom plans to deactivate their email, or upgrade it, or validate it.

The emails require some action by the recipient, either clicking on a link, downloading an attachment, or replying with personal information. All these emails are examples of phishing, meaning they are attempts to steal your personal information, or load up your computer with unwanted and malicious software, by using deceptive practices.

I spoke with a Mediacom representative, who confirmed this email scam is widespread. His advice to Mediacom customers was to immediately delete such emails, and not open them. One clue these are bogus is their return address usually shows as coming from a gmail account.

Count your pills

The Iowa Senior Medicare Patrol, an organization which seeks to prevent Medicare and Medicaid fraud, reported Kmart settled with the U.S. government in October 2013, for $2.5 million. The government alleged Kmart pharmacies gave Medicaid customers only part of their prescriptions, under-filling them, yet billed the government full price.

When you pick up your prescriptions, it is always a good idea to count them, and ensure you are getting what the doctor ordered, and what is paid for. If your count does not agree with what the prescription ordered, contact the pharmacy immediately, and ask to speak to a manager.

You can contact Seniors vs. Crime at 242-9211, ext. 4433, to report any scams or frauds, or similar concerns. I get a great deal of information from folks who call me and let me know what they are seeing and hearing.

Randy Meier is the director of Seniors vs. Crime, which operates in conjunction with the Clinton County Sheriff’s Office.

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With the Clinton County Justice Coordinating Commission and the Clinton County Board of Supervisors discussing proposals to construct a new jail, do you think the time has come for Clinton County to construct such a facility?

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