The sunny side of the scam epidemic

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The avalanche of local fraud and scam complaints was so big, Bill Brooks needed to scoop not just once a week, but twice. His columns, published every Thursday in The Press, expanded to Mondays one month ago.

Actually, as the CDA Press Consumer Guy, his favorite pastime — helping you avoid getting ripped off — has become almost a 24/7 activity. Brooks, a Realtor and former member of the Army Security Agency who carries a potentially lethal Agent Orange wound to remind him of his service, created a blog that he updates regularly. Go to cdapressconsumerguy.com to see the latest manifestations of the epidemic that seems to have no cure.

Today’s editorial is not about Mr. Brooks but rather, the people he’s trying to protect. He is, after all, in your corner.

While some would say scam artists salivate at the prospects of preying on North Idahoans because they’re so gullible, we see the target quite differently. We were reminded of this recently when speaking to a local businessman who moved here five years ago from southern California. He said his parents had moved here and invited the man and his family to come up and see what paradise was all about. He did, and the move soon followed, leaving him wondering: “What took me so long?” Asked what impressed him so much, the first words out of his mouth were these: “The people are so nice.”

North Idaho is a target for evil people because of the wholesomeness that abounds here. Your friends and neighbors may be guilty of trusting strangers because they, themselves, are trustworthy, and they can’t understand how or why others would choose to be otherwise.

As the late Dr. Stephen Covey famously said, “We see the world not as it is, but as we are.”

The merchants of mayhem determined to steal North Idahoans blind see the world through the lenses of nightmares, where love, trust and honesty don’t exist.

By all means, be alert in this age of unparalleled greed. But keep in mind that it’s better to live among the victims than the perpetrators.

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