It seems as if there has been a significant paradigm shift in several major businesses in the past several years, as to how they relate to their customers.

From the moment I walked in to an area hospital, I was greeted by every hospital employee in a positive manner and more than one asked if they could help.

Not only were they being helpful but they were also, indirectly, letting me know that I had been seen. In a local car dealership, I was greeted again in a very positive manner and they spent time finding out what I wanted, and not what they wanted to sell me

Again, not only were they being helpful but I was aware that they could put a name to a face and I could be identified. In both instances, I seemed to be treated as an individual that they cared about and not just patient/customer No. 243. It was refreshing.

In my neighborhood, I have seen my neighbors watch a car coming down the block slowly, as if looking for an address. More often than not, at least one of us will step to the street and see if we can help them.

In that contact, we see who is in the vehicle, what kind it is, sometimes a license number and always letting them know that they have been seen.

We also have learned never to step in front of the car, just in case they have no intention of stopping.


Scam alerts

There have been recent reports of someone calling supposedly from the Internal Revenue Service and telling you and/or your attorney to call back to a number they give you.

This has been reported to the IRS, but if you get a similar call, please report it to 800-366-4484 or

Another report — the one ring scam where your phone rings once and they hang up. If you do a recall, you are routed to a foreign number costing you big bucks.

And you thought it couldn’t get worse? Watch for: “Funeral Notification,” which appears to come from a real company and would appear to be an announcement of pending arrangements and memorial service

There is no name attached and when you open it a virus/ malware is installed. Again, when in doubt, look up the number of the funeral home and call them. They will give you any details and will also be interested in finding out if their company is being used in a scam.

Be careful, with hurricane season in full swing, scammers will be out to sell you inferior materials and products to keep your house safe. Always check with the Better Business Bureau when you are not familiar with the individual/company. Do research on the products they are promoting.

Finally, call your power company if someone comes around trying to sell you a lightning rod for your house at a shockingly hefty price and infers that they represent the company. They don’t.

Remember, think, prepare and execute crime prevention designs. Don’t become a crime victim.


Walt Candelari is a police officer with Dickinson Police Department. He is writing a series of columns on creating an environment of safety from burglars.

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