Cyber Criminals Are Getting Better At Creating

With our wind out of the north, sure made for a biting-cold, damp and dark day, which was fine by me because I didn’t have to be out in it since I had plenty to keep me busy within the confines of my office.

Upon arrival at office, the first thing I did was go back to my storage area and get a small bucket of poultry grit to spread on that build-up of ice on my parking area at the rear of my office. I figured it best to stay pro-active by making it less of a hazard for me when getting in and out of my vehicle. I know it’s supposed to be above freezing this weekend, but I really don’t think that ice is going to be melting enough during that short warm spell. I’ve been hearing about some really nasty falls people have been having this winter, and I certainly don’t want something to happen to me like it did not so many years ago while out chipping ice at the curbside. That was a nasty spill I’ll not forget.

After getting myself settled-in for the day, and then making sure everything was readied for my early afternoon closing, I headed back to my tax accounting workbench and started plugging away once more. Since I’d created a template some years ago for making entries, I can always go back to the previous year’s, just to compare costs. Well, after seeing what I paid for gasoline in 2021 versus what I paid in 2022, I could definitely see how those price hikes had affected my yearly costs. Believe it or not, I spent nearly a thousand dollars more on gas than I did the previous year. Those oil companies certainly made a killing. What I’ll never understand, is the fact that we have oil wells here, along with refineries, but still they raised the prices. Once again I go back to the mentalities of our times where they’re saying, “If we can charge it and get it, then let’s do it.”

I did have to make a quick run to check on a vacant home, just to make sure the furnace was working fine, and while I was out on that side of the City, I decided to stop and see how things were going on a home one of my clients is working on. When I got there, I was pleasantly surprised to find it definitely starting to take shape. In spite of me being a bit of a fanatic regarding workmanship, I couldn’t have praised him more, and especially regarding the attention to detail he has. There’s a beautiful wall of knotty pine which was stripped, modified a little bit, and then re-varnished, which looks as if it was trapped in time from the day it was installed. I’d say the focal points of that home are going to be the elegant staircase leading upstairs, the hardwood floors, and that long wall of knotty pine. It’s going to be quite the remarkable home when finished.

When reading Iowa’s news today, I bristled again when reading about some of the changes our Governor is proposing to our “red-laden” State government. The big gripe I have with her attempt at undermining our public school system, is her now wanting to give all those who’re going to private schools, money to continue their college education. Since the bulk of my education was at a private school, I’ve come to believe that the more a State government gets involved with the funding of non-public schools, the more hooks they have in the way their being operated. What I’m afraid of, is there being some sort of dark agenda where our entire school systems become privatized. Now that’s a scary thought, because it would fling wide-open the doors of mis-management. What looks like an innocent fish-fry, may end up being a whole-hog roast. How many times have we seen public entities privatizations go awry?

Today’s closing ended up being another soft landing, which is what I work for in every transaction. There were a few bumps in the road with getting the home completely vacated, but in the end, it all fell into place. The selling agent mentioned how happy the buyers were when they did their final walk-thru, which had me all the more pleased.

After getting the seller’s proceeds deposited, and copies of closing docs mailed out, I headed out to get my lockbox off the front door of that home, and when I tried to pull my sold sign out, I found it to be frozen in the ground. I’d already suspected it was, which is why I asked the buyers if it would be OK if it’s left there until this weekend, because today’s cold wind would’ve created quite the struggle for me. They said it wasn’t a problem for them, so getting that sign out this coming Sunday, is now on my list of priorities.

Having received an email from my bank today regarding the way in which the cyber criminals are getting better at creating fake email accounts, became one more reminder to me and our general public, that we absolutely must be exceptionally careful about responding to any and all questionable emails. Just today, a gentleman mentioned some recent financial scamming that’d taken place with an elderly relative of his. I was recently told by a banker that there’s more of it going on than people want to admit, so be very careful with your personal information. One thing I also want to mention, is the fact that no company has the right to ask you for your social security number, unless it has to do with Government reporting. Every time an entity like Alliant Energy asks me for my tax ID number, I refuse to give it to them. I’ll give them my driver’s license number, but not my social security’s. Just remember how many corporations have already been hacked by cyber criminals, and subsequently the thousands of people’s lives that ended up being affected.

I received a call late this afternoon from another agent regarding my listing at 224 West Spring St. in Manly, and after I gave her some additional information her buyer was requesting, it sounded like we may possibly have a buyer for it on the line. That rock-solid home has been under the radar for far too long, and mostly because it hit the market just after our buying spree started slowing down.

Tonight’s One-liner is: Golfing is a good walk spoiled.

Joe Chodur

About the Author | Joe Chodur

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