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Learning to protect ourselves from scammers | Herald Community Newspapers

Loan Scams

Learning to protect ourselves from scammers | Herald Community Newspapers

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By Michael Hinman

People have called him many things — kind, loving, helpful, funny. I’ve heard him described as meticulous. But to me and my siblings, he’s simply Dad.
This year my father turns 89. He still drives. He still goes to church, where he displays his musical talents on the organ, which he taught himself to play.
He lives just blocks from my stepmother, who is in an assisted-living facility with severe dementia. He spends as much time there as he can.
My dad loves his wife, his family, his spiritual home, and his Tampa Bay Buccaneers. I don’t think anyone was more excited about Tom Brady making the move from Boston.
But when I think about my dad, more often than not, my smile turns to tears. Not about anything he did — he was and still is a great man — but because of what someone did to him.

My dad was meticulous as he divided a large stack of cash into separate envelopes. His hands shook with fear as he packed each envelope carefully into a box to send off to who knows where. This was $20,000 — money my father, a retired railroad welder, didn’t even have. It came from a loan, one he continues to make payments on today.

The worst part was that my dad knew he was being scammed. He knew that if he told me or any of my…

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