The Weekly Newspaper serving the citizens of Morenci, Mich., Fayette, Ohio, and surrounding areas.

  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.bank.2
    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.carry.casket
    CARRYING—Riley Terry (blue jacket) and Mason Vaughn lead the way, carrying an empty casket outside to the hearse waiting at the curb. Morenci juniors and seniors visited Eagle Funeral Home last week to learn about the role of a funeral director and to understand the process of arranging for a funeral.
  • Front.lift
    MORENCI student Dalton McCowan puts everything into a dead lift attempt Saturday morning during the Wyseguy Push/Pull event. Lifters helped raise more than $1,600 for the family of the late Devin Wyse, a former Morenci power-lifter who graduated last year. Commemorative T-shirts are still available by contacting teacher Dan Hoffman.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.F.office
    NEW OFFICES—Fayette village administrator Steve Blue speaks with tax administrator Genna Biddix at the new front desk of the village office. Village council members voted to use budgeted renovation funds targeted for the old office and instead buy the vacant bank building on the corner of Main and Fayette streets. The old office was sold to Sherwood State Bank. When everything is put into place in the spacious new village office, an open house will be scheduled. Council member David Wheeler donated all of his time needed to make changes in the bank interior to fit the Village’s needs.

Beware of "grandparents scam" 2012.08.08

Written by David Green.

The “grandparents scam” has reached Morenci. Con artists have called people in the area in an attempt to bilk residents out of cash.

Callers contact older people and pose as one of their grandchildren. In one case in Michigan, a caller said he was caught fishing in Canada without a license and needed $3,000 to avoid jail.

The money was wired to the “grandson,” but then he claimed that alcohol and drugs were found on the boat and the couple was taken for an additional $30,000.

In a typical call, a grandparent receives a frantic call from someone they believe to be their grandchild. The caller might say, “Hi Grandma, it’s me, your favorite grandchild,” and the grandparent guesses the name of the grandchild the caller sounds most like. After that, the scammer takes on that grandchild’s identity for the remainder of the call.

The supposed grandchild sounds distressed and may be calling from a noisy location. The grandchild claims to be involved in some type of trouble while traveling in Canada or overseas, such as being arrested or in a car accident or needing emergency car repairs, and asks the grandparent to immediately wire money.

The scammer typically asks for several thousand dollars, and may even call back again several hours or days later asking for more money. He or she may claim embarrassment about the alleged trouble and asks the grandparent to keep it a secret.

 In one variation of the scam, the first scammer calls and poses as a grandchild under arrest. A second scammer, posing as some type of law enforcement officer, then gets on the phone with the grandparent and explains what fines need to be paid. Alternatively, the scammer may pretend to be a family friend or neighbor. 

Wiring money is like sending cash; there are no protections for the sender.  Typically there is no way you can reverse the transaction, trace the money, or recover payment from the telephone con artists. 

If you receive such a call, you should verify the identity and location of the grandchild claiming to be in trouble. You should hang up and call another family member who can confirm your grandchild’s whereabouts. Try calling your grandchild at the telephone number through which you normally reach him or her.  Stay calm and avoid acting out of a sense of urgency.  Do not wire money unless you have verified with an independent third party that your grandchild is truly in trouble.

 In addition, never give out any personal identifying information such as bank account or credit card numbers to anyone who calls you on the phone.  As in the Grandparents Scam, con artists will lie, cheat, steal, and make up plausible stories to convince you to wire money or divulge sensitive information.  The callers are often professional criminals who are skillfully able to get you to wire money or give personal information before you have time to properly assess the situation.

For more information, contact the Morenci police department by calling 458-7104.

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