Slammin’ the Scammin’



Crystal Reiber slammed down the phone, exhaled heavily and shook her head in dismay.
“Scammers,” she said under her breath.

Although the disgust with telephone scammers was feigned for a video shoot Tuesday afternoon, Reiber has good reason for wanting to tell the community to be alert.

“Two relatives of mine were ripped off,” said Reiber, the president of Film Alliance Northwest. “Every single morning, at 7 o’clock, the same scammer, exactly the same scammer would call.”

Reiber, of Post Falls, and her FAN colleagues are in the production stages of a short video titled, “Eight Ways to Hang Up on A Scammer.” Their script scrutinizes different kinds of scams, including the “obituary scam,” where scammers claim a recently deceased loved one owes money, and the “IRS scam,” which claims people need to pay balances so they don’t go further into debt.

It was quite humorous when Reiber “answered” a ringing phone during the shoot and the phone ring effect continued to play, making the small crew laugh as it moved on to another take.

“The scams are just absolutely horrible,” said FAN vice president Stene Honig, whose Hayden home served as the set for the shoot.

“We figure that everyone can relate to this story,” he said. “And because it’s in the news so much, it’s even more and more important.”

The idea spawned at a recent meeting, where FAN members discussed beginning the process of capturing stories of the community’s elderly and veteran population. Someone mentioned an elderly relative getting scammed and the wheels began to turn.

“We went in to design a horse and we came out with a camel,” said FAN production manager Larry Telles of Dalton Gardens. “That’s the way it goes. It’s a committee.”

The “Scammer” video will feature several scenarios where victims can hang up without giving potential thieves the opportunity to waste their time or tap into their bank accounts.

“Overall, we want to create more community awareness,” Reiber said, adding that some people just don’t see the danger in continuing conversations with scammers.

“It’s not good because then they get sucked in,” she said. “There’s plenty of scams out there.”

This is the first in a series of video projects FAN members plan to create to hear people’s stories and record local histories, right now focusing on the community’s elders.

“We want to start preserving some of our histories,” she said. “Doing some veterans interviews of (those) who are getting older. We don’t want to lose their story.”

Clips from the video will be presented at the organization’s general meeting at Seasons of Coeur d’Alene at 11:30 a.m. Nov. 13. The meetings are free for first-time attendees. Club memberships are $36 a year.

The goal of FAN – formerly the Northwest Independent Film and Video Entertainment Society, or kNIFVES – is to provide education, training, knowledge and networking for film, video and media enthusiasts of all levels and ages, including young people 12 and older who have an interest in the field.

DEVIN HEILMAN/dheilman@cdapress.com

Courtesy of CdAPress.com Nov. 5, 2014

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