Robbery in Ashland

Though Ashland is a relatively peaceful and gentle city, some crimes committed here daily are too seldom spoken of, meaning crimes committed online and via telephone. They are embarrassing and painful to the victims, so they often keep them to themselves.

I'm a retired university teacher and I was scam-robbed last month. When I reported the crime to the Ashland Police Department, I was given a case number for it but was told that such crimes were so frequent that they can't be followed up on, even though I gave them the telephone number of the scam troll farm I was hit by.

I'm holding up this warning sign: Be completely careful when you respond to any phone call or email from someone you don't know. I was tricked by people who claimed to be a Microsoft service company that had a computer service contract with me, calling to say that they were going out of business and wanted to return $249.50 that was owed to me. I was deceived because in fact I had some money owed to me on a Microsoft contract, but these people did not work for Microsoft, I realized too late.

I hope that anyone who reads this will be extra careful with emails and phone calls knowing that there's an industry of people working on large troll farms around the world earning a living deceiving and robbing people.

My mother said that I spoke my first words sitting in my high chair in the kitchen while she was cooking when I was 9 months old. She heard someone say, "Be careful." She thought she left the radio on, but it was off. Again I said clearly, "Be careful." Now I'm nearing the end of my life and I can say that "Be careful" makes good last words, too.

Robert Newman