Scammer 2.0

Scammer 2.0

Many of you commented on the article about my relative Bill and the PCH fraud that was perpetrated on him. Here is the latest surprise happening that I want to make sure people know about.

Two days ago, Bill received a call from the scammers. Yes, they are still calling him. They told him that all they needed was another $555 and they would be showing up at his door with the grand prize. Again, Bill told them he had no more money. Scammer David told Bill to watch his mail because they were seeking a sponsor for him.

Sure enough, Bill’s mail carrier brought a Priority Mail package to his door yesterday. Inside was a money order for $555. Bill called me and I researched how easy it is to fake a money order. It is pretty easy. Still, I called the post office and was told that they could probably spot a fake and had a Website where they could search the number on the money order. So, off we go to the post office.

Now here is the surprising part. The money order was good and the post office cashed it right there. The clerk told me that if they were mistaken and it turned out to be fake, Bill would not be held liable and the money was his. If we had taken it to Bill’s bank and it proved to be fake, Bill would be liable. Well, needless to say, Bill was ecstatic. He’d been swindled out of almost $40K but here was a tiny portion of that back in his pocket. At this point, every little bit is a huge chunk of change for Bill.

So, back in the car we go to head to a bank where Bill could use the money to open a new account. We’re all worried that his current account is known to the scammers so he will be closing that as soon as everything clears.

Before I start the car, I look at the name and address where the money order originated. It looked legit. There was also a phone number. When I compared the info for Bill’s name and address his was correct as well, except for the phone number. The person sending the money order had been given a phone number that was not Bill’s. It probably belongs to one of the scammers.

You know what I’m thinking now, right? The person, who I will call Gail, had been scammed into sending the money order to Bill thinking she had won PCH. Sure enough, when Bill got home he got a call from Scammer David that he needed to wire the entire $555 back to them, then they would show up with his huge jackpot. Bill, of course, refused and disconnected the call. A few minutes later Scammer Jack calls Bill to tell him that he would no longer be hearing from Scammer David. Scammer Jack was on the case now. Jack proceeded to threaten Bill that the money belonged to PCH and they had ways to get it back. They say that if Bill does not return the money they will charge it to his credit card. Bill is shaken and upset.

Meanwhile, I have called the police detective on Bill’s case and relayed all of this info. Still nothing he can do. I looked up Gail’s address on Google maps. She is located in Ohio and her home looks like a divided condo, probably in a senior living community. I’m thinking this is not the home of a scammer. I decided to block my number and call Gail. After all, either she is a part of the scam, in which case I don’t want her to have my number, or she is being scammed and has a right to know. I was hoping it was early enough in the scam for her that she wasn’t out a lot of money. This was actually our first good clue for locating someone involved in the scam. We have a number for Scammer David in Kansas City Mo., but I worry he can somehow see my number even if I block it so I have not called him. Remember, Scammer David has answered every time Bill called him.

I managed to reach Gail and in less than a minute, I knew she was being scammed as well. She had the voice of an older woman, and fortunately, the $555 was the first amount she had been asked to send. Scammer David had already asked for the next installment of $4500 but Gail told me she was not going to send it. I assured her it was a scam and that she should not send any more money to anyone. She told me that she knew it was a scam from the first call. When I asked why she sent the money, she responded that she just wanted to see what would happen.

We talked for a while and when we ended the conversation, I felt comfortable that Gail would not continue to participate in the scam. However, we spoke for about fifteen minutes and at no point did Gail ask who I was, how I got her number, or why I chose to call her. She never asked what had happened to her $555 or if I could help her get it back. Some people are way too trusting, or, she is a part of the actual scam after all.

So here is Bill, still no money, trying to figure out how to pay his bills, but now with an extra $555 that needs to be returned to Gail once we know beyond a doubt that she is not part of the scam. We haven’t figured out exactly how to prove that yet.

At least Bill believes all of this is a scam now. He is no longer answering the phone if he doesn’t know the caller. The scammers called more than twenty times yesterday alone. They’ve lost $555 and they aren’t happy about that. You’d think the other $40K would be enough.

So readers, I am on a quest. By following through and contacting Gail, I have hopefully put a small chink in their chain and have at least saved Gail from further loss. I am actively pursuing other leads as well.

I am asking that if you, or someone you know, has lost money recently, this year, in the PCH scam and think you have information that could help keep others from being pulled into this scam, please email me and share the details. If we work together, we might be able to hurt these people financially, even if it’s only a small amount.
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Get Your Morning Mojo at Liquid Lightning

Liquid Lightning

It is a great time to be a coffee drinker in Maynardville. Whether you are waking up early headed to work, finishing up the morning school drop offs, or just plain love to guzzle coffee all day, with one sip you will be sure to add a new stop to your daily route. Liquid Lightning, a local veteran owned and operated coffee shop, has opened their doors and put the go-juice on to brew with a goal of bringing delicious coffee, lots of laughs, and a sense of joy and comfort to the community.

Win for Author Kaye George

Kaye George

Knoxville TN: Local author Kaye George took home a second place win from BOULD (Bizarre, Outrageous, Unfettered, Limitless, Daring) for her short story Dream Girl. The story is published in BOULD Awards Short Story Anthology and is now available on Amazon.

Shirleys Bread

Shirley's Bread

I got a call from Aaron Russell the other day. He was checking to see how I was doing. He hadn't talked with me in a while. During the conversation, he mentions that he likes to bake bread. Not just any bread, but salt-rising bread. He described the process as well as how good the bread tastes. That got me thinking.

Ambulance Selfie

Ambulance Selfie

“Well, you always want an adventure!” Lynda locked the car doors.

It’s an interesting story how we had gotten to that point. Lynda is my best friend and cousin. We played ball together, ran around together, and went to the same middle and high school.

George Washington Cherry Treat

George Washington Cherry Treat

Fresh pie cherries aren't available in February. That's okay. Food City does my canning for me these days. They have one pound cans of red tart cherries on the shelf every day. I call them sour cherries.

Do you really think George cut down a cherry tree? Do you really think he fested up to the deed? Naw. George was known as a ladies man. I wouldn't be surprised if he did tell a lie now and then.

Science versus Faith

Blaise Pascal

Blaise Pascal once said, “The heart has its reasons, of which reason knows nothing… We know truth, not only by reason, but also by the heart.”

Pascal was a genius and a genuine polymath who lived in the 17th century. To cover his accomplishments and body of work would require volumes, which have already been written. I want to focus on the concept he so poetically illustrated above – the ever-present battle between the head and the heart. Specifically,

Cherry Creme Fudge

Cherry Creme Fudge

Here is a fudge recipe I made a long time ago, that is, if you call 1981 a long time ago. Fudge recipes have evolved over the years. They are easier to make now. Just cook up some sugar and evaporated milk. Add chocolate and marshmallow cream and you have fudge. But it is not the same as the old fashioned variety. Oldsters will agree with me. (I will share one of those recipes at a later date.).

Failed Back Surgery Is Relatively Common

Failed Back Surgery Is Relatively Common

Failed back surgery (continued low back and leg pain after surgery) is relatively common according to a new report from the Boston University School of Medicine. With each reoperation, success, as defined by pain reduction, becomes less likely and most patients do not improve. However, preliminary studies using a simple procedure to remove scar tissue or adhesions suggests a new treatment could help those with post-surgical, chronic low back pain.

The German Beer Stein

German Beer Stein

I have had a beautiful beer stein since World War II. My brother, Rodney, sent it back from Germany. He was part of a Navy goodwill tour that started at England then went on to Germany. He sent back two beer steins and a Black Forest coo coo clock from there.

When he returned home, Rod took back the coo coo clock and one beer stein. That left me with one beer stein. I have placed that beautiful beer stein in a prominent place in my home as I moved around the country. It is time to give it a permanent home while I am still here to do so.


Interested in Homeschooling?

Monday, February 25, 2019 - 18:00

Join us for our annual Mom's night out. Monday, February 25, at six pm when April Shepherd, from the Smoky Mountain Home Education Association will be speaking at Hardees. April, a proponent of country living and a successful homeschooling Mother, will be speaking on using everyday living to teach fundamentals and life skills. She has titled her talk, "Little House on the Prairie Schooling". Sponsored by the local support group of homeschooling families, more information can be obtained by contacting Connie Dickey @ 865-992-3629

Mens Conference

Friday, March 1, 2019 - 19:00
Alder Springs Missionary Baptist Church

Alder Springs Missionary Baptist Church will be hosting a Men’s Conference on Friday, March 1st at 7:00 P.M. and Saturday, March 2nd at 9:30 A.M.
Evangelists will be Rev. Jerry Vittatoe and Rev. Mike Viles. Pastor, Rev. Jimmy Davidson extends a hearty welcome to all men.

4-H County Baking Contest

Monday, March 18, 2019 - 17:00

After youth have participated in school during February, they will be awarded a blue ribbon to move forward to the county contest. The entries at the county will be due for judging on March 18 then displayed with awards at the Extension Month Open House on March 19 for sampling.

MPL Small Business Expo

Saturday, March 23, 2019 - 09:00

Small Business Expo
Hosted by Maynardville Public Library
296 Main St, Maynardville, Tennessee 37807
Saturday, March 23, 2019 at 9 AM – 1 PM
Our 3rd Annual Expo to showcase the many small businesses in Union County. Drop by to see what our county has to offer and support these local businesses.
If you are a business owner looking to attend fill out the following google form by March 15th


Franklin Delano Capps

Frank Capps-age 85 of Knoxville passed away Thursday morning, February 21, 2019 at U. T. Medical Center. Member of Warwick’s Chapel Baptist Church. He was a U. S. Army Veteran. Frank was a long-standing owner/operator of auto service garages in the Luttrell area. Preceded in death by wife, Ithel McHone Capps; daughter, Brenda Smyth.

Obituary for Mary Carolyn Childress

Mary Carolyn Childress, age 84 of East Knoxville, passed away Thursday, February 21, 2019 at her home. She attended Buffat Heights Baptist Church. She was a long- time employee of Supreme Contracting. She was the daughter of the late Carl and Frances Whitt, Proceeded in death by Jack Childress. Survived by brothers; Ronnie (Phyllis) Whitt, Tom (Jo) Whitt, and Steve Whitt. Several nieces, nephews, great nieces, and great nephews. Longtime friends, Mack and Lily Thomas and Bryan and Sherry Linander.

Janice Ann Beeler Fields

Janice Ann Beeler Fields-age 66 of Corbin, Kentucky passed away suddenly Monday morning, February 18, 2019 at her home. She was a loving mother, nana, sister and friend. She will be sadly missed by all. Janice was a member of Nave Hill Baptist Church and was a former co-owner of Fields Apparel in Monticello, Kentucky. She was recently employed at SEKRI, Corbin, Kentucky for 22 years. Preceded in death by parents, James Aubrey and Lillie Beeler, two brothers, Gary and Terry Beeler; nephew, Adam Beeler.

Robert Bradley Douglas

Robert Bradley Douglas, known as Brad Douglas, was born October 12th, 1978. Brad spent his life in the Knoxville area embracing the Tennessee Volunteers, fishing and hiking. Brad's favorite thing to do was to take him and his family exploring. It is with great sadness that the family of Brad Douglas announces his passing at the age of 40. His spirit, enthusiasm and willingness to put other's needs above his own will be missed but not forgotten.

Robert Bruce Kezer

R. Bruce Kezer-age 84 of Knoxville departed this world for heaven on February 15 from his home. His family was at his side. Born in Jersey City, NJ, on September 30, 1934 to Edwin and Ruth (Adams) Kezer, Bruce graduated from the University of Vermont in 1957. He then entered the US Army and served, in peacetime, for three years until being honorably discharged at the rank of Lieutenant. Bruce loved Jesus with all his heart, and worked to live instead of the other way around.

Thomas Michael McLaughlin

Thomas M. McLaughlin age 57 currently of Maynardville TN, formerly of Edison NJ, passed away on February 8th 2019 at UT Hospital following an exhausting battle with cancer. Preceded in death by father, Thomas W, and brother Michael W McLaughlin.

Survived by wife Kathie, daughter and son-in-law Jennifer McLaughlin and Josh Lamb, son TJ, mother Elaine, sister and brother-in-law Lori and Gary Yurchak, grandchildren Chris and Michael, as well as a host of other relatives and friends.

Judson "Juddy" Bailey

Judson “Juddy“ Bailey - age 79 of Washburn, was born on February 27, 1939 and passed away peacefully on Sunday, February 10, 2019. We all called him Pap. He was a member of Nave Hill Baptist Church. He loved his family, hunting, playing cards, dogs and driving around. He spent his last few months putting on his shoes and saying “I believe I will go home”. He is finally “home“, peacefully in the arms of Jesus.

Frances Jane Nichols

Frances Jane Nichols “Janey”, age 61, of Rockford, went to be with the Lord on February 8, 2019, surrounded by her loved ones. She was a beloved mom, sister, and granny. Preceded in death by parents Jack Huggins and Bernice Van Dyke, brother Jackie Huggins, sisters Sarah Munsey, Sandy Huggins, and Darlene Dunaway.

The opinions expressed by columnists and those providing comments are theirs alone, and may not reflect the opinions of Russell Computer Systems, Inc or any employee thereof.