The scammers are getting sneakier

Steva Dooley
The Cook's Corner


 We tend to believe everything we read on the internet and especially on Facebook. I got a wake-up call many years ago when someone posted a pretty neat picture of a cloud in the shape of the Wyoming bucking horse over Devil’s Tower. I showed it to a coworker and expressed my admiration for the photographer. Her response was, “Pretty good Photoshopping.” I was dismayed, but it opened my eyes to what could be done with computers and that is elementary compared to what they can do with artificial intelligence, or AI (which, by the way, still bring to my mind ‘Artificial Insemination.’) 

There have been a plethora of phishing scams on Facebook for the past couple of years. The scammer, usually a person who has made a page profile to market something, finds a picture of an elderly person, a small child, a pet, or something of the like. I saw a picture of a young girl that was supposedly taken from her home, but I had three friends from three different states share that picture and post all within about half an hour, the sheriff’s name was the same in all three places. Then they ask everyone to share or “bump” the post to help them. Another one I saw was a necklace a person can get to put a small amount of a loved ones ashes in. They prey on the emotions of the reader. The latest one that I saw was warning people about rattlesnakes. They all make some sense, who wouldn’t want to share about a child who is lost, a pet who has been hit by a car or a rattlesnake hiding in a flower pot to help others? 

But once the post is shared many times, it suddenly changes to whatever the scammer is selling. Here are some things I have found that help me to identify the fake posts: 

First, take a close look at the name of the community they are sharing from. It will often say Powell Valley, instead of just Powell, or it will have the name of the community as a hashtag. 

Next, go to the original post and look at the bottom, if the poster has turned off commenting, it is likely a scam. 

Third, check out the poster’s profile. I have found they are usually a page, not a person, and they are usually selling cosmetics, or a band, or even listed as a grocery store. 

It is an epidemic on social media, usually proliferated on groups that are public with administrators that aren’t taking care of their groups. 

So what can a person do to help stop it? 

First, take the few minutes to check out a post before sharing it. 

Second, go to the original post — again, it is usually in a group — and report it to the group administrator. 

And lastly, just be careful. 



 Grilled Chicken Asian Salad 

- ¾ cup lime juice 

- 3 tablespoons olive oil, 

- 3 tablespoons sesame oil 

- 3 tablespoons soy sauce 

- 2 tablespoons minced fresh gingerroot 

- 3 garlic cloves, minced 

- 1 tablespoons sugar 

- 1½ pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts 

- 12 ounces uncooked angel hair pasta, broken in half

- 1 large sweet yellow pepper, sweet red pepper, each chopped 

1 medium cucumber peeled and chopped 

¼ cup minced fresh parsley 

2 green onions, sliced 

¼ teaspoon crushed pepper flakes. 

Combine first seven ingredients, pour ¼ cup into a shallow dish and reserve the remainder. Add chicken to the shallow dish, turning to coat, and let marinate for 30 minutes. Drain chicken, discard marinade, then grill chicken, 5-7 minutes on each side or until done. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions, drain and rinse in cold water. Combine remaining ingredients with reserved marinade, cut chicken into 1-inch slices, add pasta and chicken to vegetable mixture toss to coat and refrigerate until serving.