By one estimate, Americans lost $7.4 billion in 2015 to telemarketing scams. For years, scam artists — often operating from other countries —have asked people to pay them by wire transfer, reloadable money packs, or remotely-created checks or payment orders. Scammers prefer these methods because they are like cash—they are difficult to trace, and once sent, the money is usually gone for good.
When I was practicing law part of my work included representing a number of cities and townships. One day a man called and asked if I was the City Attorney for a certain city. I told him that I was. He then began to tell me about a problem that he had with a car that he had recently purchased. After a few moments I asked why he was calling me as the City Attorney to discuss this private issue. He said that he lived in that city and paid taxes, therefore I had to represent him. He was somewhat upset when I told him that that is not what city attorneys do.
Several years ago we visited the North Carolina small town of Mt. Airy, the model for Mayberry in the Andy Griffith Show. Just down the road is Pilot Mountain, which became the town of Mount Pilot in the TV show. In Mt. Airy, there are replicas of Floyd’s Barbershop, the Sheriff’s squad car with the “cherry on top,” and the Snappy Lunch Cafe. Mayberry is a fictional small town that probably never was and never will be.