Following Hurricane Irma, I have received several emails regarding scams — and there have been many. Folks, no matter where you live, if the deal sounds too good, double-check: It’s probably a scam.
For instance, I received several calls regarding “trash haulers” wanting to take debris for less than $50. Well, as I watched the news the other day, there was a truck that dumped the debris in another neighborhood — and not at the dump.
My other concern: fixing the house or yard.
Readers, this is a great opportunity for criminals to get into your house! DO NOT let anyone in your house for ANYTHING.
Please be vigilant. If you didn’t call a company, no one should be showing up at your house to do any work. When in doubt, just call the police and let the authorities check out their intentions. Even if you don’t use them, you might be helping someone not to be scammed by reporting to police.
A recent column on “spotting price-scanning mistakes” opened up a Pandora’s box.
Many readers emailed me about their experiences at the checkout counter. I had no idea it was so prevalent, including some very well-known food stores.
Here’s an email from reader Jessica Flax:
“This issue should have been brought to light a very long time ago. I for one do not like to be ripped off, and by shopping in some of these specialty shops you have a greater chance of being taken. The only thing that I can do as a smart shopper is to avoid these establishments. I will most certainty follow up with this issue. The government agencies do not have enough men on the road to follow up on some of these issues. I am going to do my part.”
Readers, once again I am referring you to the Miami-Dade Consumer Services Department website, www.miamidade.gov/csd. Or call 305-375-3677. Keep checking those prices.
On another issue:
“Why have the mailboxes outside the post office on Southwest 117th Avenue been removed? It was great being able to drive through and deposit mail. When I inquired, I was told it was due to vandalism. Is vandalism of mailboxes prevalent in Miami Dade? Other post offices don't have the outside boxes, also.”
Yes, outdoor mailboxes are becoming a thing of the past all over the country, because criminals are stealing your mail — especially your payments to credit card companies and utilities.
I have said it for many years, don’t put your mail in that cute “mailbox” that came with the house — every time you lift the “red flag” it tells criminals there is mail there. So either give it directly to your carrier or visit your local post office.
Readers we have some super challenging days ahead of us, but your vigilance and support of our law enforcement partners will help send the criminals “somewhere else.”
Carmen Caldwell is executive director of Citizens’ Crime Watch of Miami-Dade. Send feedback and news for this column to firstname.lastname@example.org, or call her at 305-470-1670.