Why is My Number Calling Me? A Crazy New Scam

BBB is warning about a scam targeting area businesses and consumers.  People have reports receiving calls appearing to be from local businesses; however BBB believes the calls are coming from overseas.  Callers purchase lists of cell and business phone numbers, or use robocall capabilities to randomly dial.  Using a technique called “spoofing”, scam artists trick customers into thinking a legitimate business is calling.

What happens?  Your phone rings, the number looks familiar.  When you answer, the person claims to have methods to lower credit card interest rates, which of course, means they require a credit card number.

Technology has made it easier and provided new options for scammers.  Using software to dial over the internet, criminals can make any business name and phone number appear on caller I.D.  “By hijacking the names and phone numbers of familiar companies, the callers attempt to gain your trust so they can trick you into handing over important financial information.”

The BBB advises the following:

Never give out any financial information.  If you did not initiate the call, do not provide bank account, credit card or Social Security numbers over the phone unless you have thoroughly done your research and verified the caller.

Don’t rely on caller ID.  Scammers can use technology to make it appear as though their calls are coming from legitimate businesses or organizations.

Trust your instincts.  If something doesn’t seam right to you, end the call.

If you receive one of these calls, hang up and report it to BBB.

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Time to Soup Up

As the weather gets cooler, it’s time to fill up on warm hearty soups.  Homemade options can often be healthier, and tastier, than canned alternatives, but how do you get started?  Here are three common options for preparing the base of your soups and sauces this season: Produced by simmering vegetables, aromatics (like herbs) and bones, stock is the best go-to as a base for soups, stews and sauces.  Stock adds complex, robust flavor to any recipe it touches, despite having little or no salt.

Though less rich and flavorful, go for store-bought broth if you’re not ready to commit to hours in the kitchen.

Bouillon, a cube or granule form of dehydrated stock, is often processed with MSG, large amounts of sodium or other additives.  Use it only in a pinch.

Pre-Season Checkup for the Furnace

Give Your Home A Little TLC

Can a Quick Check Up Get You a Quick Check?

As cooler weather moves in, your home heating system begins to wake up from a nap that started last spring.  (Occasionally felt that same way myself!)

As you’d expect, once called into action, there are some old stiff joints that need lubricating, and some crusty parts that need to be cleaned.  After all, your home comfort system depends on delivering three main goals: comfort, safety, and efficiency.

All of those depend on making sure your system is cleaned and tuned before the season gets underway.  If done properly, your system doesn’t have to work as hard, which saves you money all winter by having a smaller energy bill.  It’s like the furnace writing you a check back for talking care of it!

This is short list of what we’ll check for you in a pre-season checkup:

Check out the condensate drain.  If this drain gets clogged, it could cause leaks and high humidity in your home.  This is one of our largest emergency service calls.

Inspect fuel connections.  They can become loose and cause hazardous fumes or start a fire.  A seasonal checkup ensures these connections are safe.

Apply lubricant to moving parts.  Over time, moving parts may produce friction or build up debris.  We’ll lubricate the moving pieces to ensure you save energy and stay comfortable.

There are many benefits to a seasonal fall checkup, each important in maintaining an efficient and comfortable home.  Before the cold and busy months set in, give us a call to help you prepare!

The Easiest Halloween Snack Idea Ever!

Clementine Pumpkins and Banana Ghosts!  Picture and idea from onelittleproject.com.

 

Ingredients:

– Clementines

– Celery

– Bananas

– Regular and mini chocolate chips

 

Directions:

Clementine Pumpkins: Peel the clementines and slice up a piece of celery into some skinny strips.  Then pull out the center part of the clementine but DON’T pull apart the pieces.  Poke the celery into the top of the clementine to make the pumpkin stem. NOTE: You may have to trim the celery a couple of times to get the right length.

Banana Ghosts: Cut a few peeled bananas in half.  Then poke the small chocolate chips into the banana to make the eyes and poke the big chocolate chip into the banana for the ghostly mouth.

 

It’s super easy and healthy!

Should my home be humidified?

That depends largely on your climate and personal comfort needs.  Humidification is definitely helpful in many homes and businesses.  Particularly during cold weather, insufficient moisture in the air often is responsible for such assorted problems such as stuffy noses, sore throats, even more dust than usual, cracks and dried-out joints in wood furniture, wilted plants, and static electricity which jolts hair, clothes, and computer disks.  Indoor relative humidity may fall to around 7 percent, which is much drier than the 25 percent relative humidity of the Sahara Desert!  Ideal indoor relative humidity is between 30 to 50 percent.