One horror story can have a happy ending

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Someone out there owes a debt of gratitude to J.B.

Maybe several someones will eventually avoid pain and suffering thanks to what J.B. shared with readers last Thursday.

J.B.’s heart-rending blow-by-blow account of nearly getting ripped off by a heartless, gutless scammer last week was published in agonizing detail in The Press and on More than one reader suggested that the woman’s story wasn’t unlike an interview with a rape victim.

“I feel anger, stupidity, and shame,” J.B. wrote. “The easiest thing to do would be to just try and forget about it and move on. But that’s what they want me to do. They know how stupid I must feel and how ashamed of myself I must be to allow myself to be in that situation. And I do, I feel all of that. But their hope is I’ll just keep it to myself, so they can continue to scam others. I have realized I need to try and get this out there, even if it does highlight my shame and stupidity of allowing this man to control me for almost 3 hours.”

While the newspaper protected her identity, stepping forward so others could avoid her pain was still a very brave thing to do.

We consider this woman’s crisis to be a clear call for citizens to be even more aware of scams and frauds in our community. Bill Brooks, a local Realtor with a long track record in dealing with consumer issues, shares warnings on the latest local scams twice each week in The Press. Brooks does this as a public service. He’s not compensated by the newspaper, even though he spends many hours each week helping consumers deal with difficulties.

So what’s the takeaway today? It’s this: Arm yourself with critical information, and tell everyone you know whenever the opportunity presents itself.

The woman who shared her terrifying story is not a Press subscriber. Even though Brooks has warned against the exact scam that targeted J.B., the woman simply wasn’t aware, and as panic mounted that day, her ability to recognize what was happening became increasingly unlikely. Eventually, one of her friends suggested she contact Mr. Brooks so the story could be told and others could avoid the violation that J.B. experienced.

With awareness and information, we can put would-be scammers right where they belong.

Out of business.

• • •

Thursday’s story about the 6-year-old Post Falls boy whose parents are accused of horrific child abuse left one enormous unanswered question: If neighbors saw the boy tied down to a bed “making the most eerie scream you could hear,” why, why, why did nobody call police?

There is no acceptable answer.

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