Refuse to be a victim

1_lane-7748BIG TRUCK STUCK  — Lane Prewett volunteered to assist in getting this semi truck unstuck in the I-O’s parking lot on Monday afternoon. Prewett Excavating is in charge of the contaminated soil removal and is using the I-O’s parking lot to store and transfer the new dirt to fill in the hole on the south side of Conrad Tire. The big excavator gave the back of the trailer a graceful nudge to get the truck moving again.  I-O Photo by Barb Endler

By Deanna Wakkinen, I-O Reporter

Norman Lepow, Refuse to be a Victim certified instructor and volunteer sheriff’s deputy for Pondera County, presented information to the public on internet crimes and scams at The Lobby on April 18.

Lepow briefly described the types of scams currently going around and promoted the FBI’s website if you are to fall victim to a scam. There are also FBI offices in Shelby and Great Falls as well as the FBI office in Helena that specializes in Internet crimes.

There is a Refuse to be a Victim course that is currently being offered in our area. The course requires five participants and those enrolled will receive certification and a handbook. The course is four hours long and does cost a fee. Those interested in taking the class should contact Lepow at 278-4150.

A few words of advice were given to Internet users including to use only one credit card for online purposes, to call in to make purchases versus using the online forms and to keep up with all of the latest virus software.

Chief Gary Dent attended the seminar and commented on scammers by saying, “with the Internet, they can be anywhere.”

Of the one million Montana residents, 27 percent have lost between $1,000 and $5,000 to scammers. More information and statistics are available online through the Montana IC3 2010 crime report. You may also file a claim on the FBI website if you have been a victim of a scam or fraud.