Wanda Moeller

In recent weeks in our newspaper and in other newspapers across New Mexico published at least three stories recently regarding older New Mexicans being scammed over the phone for thousands of dollars during this pandemic.

Last week in my hometown newspaper Iowa there were two crimes reported about people trying to scam them out of money, the third crime report was about an individual taken for $16,000. When asked by police why she hadn’t learned from the stories reported in the newspaper, she replied, “I don’t read the newspaper.”

Thus in today’s newspaper is an editorial warning about scammer making their way across the country looking to steal your hard earned money.

We have great empathy for the woman who was cheated out of $16,000.

But there are other scams as well. I read about another individual who fell victim to a scam on Facebook. She thought a cousin had contacted her and told her she was the winner of a $90,000 sweepstakes grant — but there were a few requirements.

First she was asked for $2,000, which she paid. Realizing their deception was working, the crooks asked for another $7,500, and then $6,500 more. It was only after all the money was gone, never to be retrieved, that she learned there was no $90,000 prize. Someone had tricked her into believing they were her cousin, and she was the latest victim in online or telephone scams.

The scammers h​ave cost people across the country, including a growing list in New Mexico, thousands of dollars. The woman refused to accept the advice of staffers at two banks ​who warned her, and said she was not aware of the number of scams that attempt to steal money from people through such deceptive and deplorable tactics.

Today’s editorial is an attempt to inform people of the con men and women who seek to prey upon people online or through phone calls.

There are tremendous benefits to reading a newspaper, and not just in warnings of potential scams or news of other crimes committed in the area.

While there is a belief that newspapers are endangered species, I certainly don’t believe in that theory. Of course, I’m a bit biased, but I’d recommend you read a paper for many reasons.

You need to know what the city, our schools, county government and other public entities are doing. Good, bad or routine, it’s worth your time, especially since you’re the one paying for it.

El Defensor Chieftain invests space, time and resources into providing an Opinion page that offers an editorial, columns and letters to the editor. We believe that’s a crucial role newspapers play in the American experiment, and one protected by the Constitution. We’re the first recorders of history in our town.

Newspapers remain an incredible bargain, and the information available in display and classified advertising can make it a profitable purchase for you. There are numerous other reasons to pick up a newspaper and become informed. It may help you learn of a scam that could cost you a great deal of money, too.

In search of more Veteran’s photos

Last year we published our first Veterans section the Thursday prior to Veterans Day. We had a great turn out for Veterans photos…but we know of many individuals who forgot to submit a photograph of your beloved Veteran.

So now’s your chance! If you didn’t submit a photograph last year, please dig through those treasured memory boxes and submit a photo of the Veteran in your family. Please see the information in today’s newspaper on how to submit the photograph.

Secondly, if you submitted a photograph last year you don’t need to submit it again. We have saved all the photographs and information from last year’s edition and will reprint those photographs again.

As many of you may recall, I am the daughter of a World War II Army Air Corps veteran and the sister of a Coast Guard veteran. So starting the Veterans Day section last year was project very near and dear to my heart. Continuing that special section means a lot to me and other members of our community. Plus, proceeds from the event helps purchase the turkeys for the annual community Thanksgiving Dinner conducted by the DAV.

So send or bring us your Veterans photographs and help us support a wonderful cause in the community.

Change is on the horizon

Community news is what our local community newspaper is all about. It’s what makes us different yet unique.

When I arrived in Socorro in November 2018, it was my mission to continue to make New Mexico’s oldest weekly newspaper one its readers could be proud to read and buy. In order to do that, I met a lot of wonderful people who helped me build and inform the community.

Our goal was to tell your story. Sometimes the news can be a bit messy to tell and to interpret. Other times, it brings great joy or leaves one scratching their head wondering how in the ‘heck’ did that happen.

With that said, I’d like to introduce you to the Chieftain’s new editor, Blake Gumprecht. He began his duties on Wednesday meeting several people in the local community. Today, he met with Veronica Pound to learn about the mill levy that will be on the election ballot in November.

I’d ask you’d extend a warm welcome to Blake. I believe he’ll be a great addition to your local community newspaper.

And what about Wanda? Well I’m as busy as ever at the Journal. I start the day at 7 a.m. and some days I don’t head home until 12 hours later.

But every once in a while, I get a phone call or an email from some one who touched my life while I was in Socorro. It brings a smile to my face knowing that my first home in New Mexico is a place that still warms my heart.

Please feel free to reach out to me anytime. My email is [email protected] or pick up the phone and call me. My direct line can be found every day in the Albuquerque Journal on page 2.

In the mean time, this Iowa farmer’s daughter still is trying to find her way around in the big city.