Ask SAM

Q: Why does the city not provide some system that keeps important traffic signs visible: For example, stop signs at Oaklawn Avenue at Coliseum Drive and at Talison Drive and Thornhill Lane, a yield sign at Coliseum and Robinhood Road, and “do not pass” signs along Robinhood and Country Club roads are all obscured by trees and foliage. It’s no wonder there are lots of former car parts strewn about city intersections.

C.M.

Answer: “We do have a system in place and try to address these issues as we are made aware,” said Keith Finch, director of vegetation management for the city. “However, there are many signs distributed about the City of Winston Salem and it is hard to keep track of all of them.”

The best way to make the city aware of concerns like this is through CityLink 311 or 336-727-8000, or using the CityLink app.

“When we receive these reports, we investigate and either clear the sign in house or send a letter to the owner of the vegetation that is blocking the sign, asking them to cut back the limbs, vines, etc.,” he said.

As to the specific intersections you identified in your email, he thanked you for bringing those sign issues to their attention. “We will address these issues you have mentioned in a timely manner,” he said.

Q: How can I report suspected fraud if a neighbor got a car to pass inspection which should not have been able to, or find out if the tag was borrowed from another car?

L.R.

Answer: You can find out details about vehicle inspection fraud, and safety and emissions requirements, at www.ncdot.gov/dmv/programs/fraud-theft/Pages/inspection-fraud.aspx. The page also includes an option to file a report under “Complaints Against Businesses or Individuals.”

Q: I had a caller today who said I was a big winner of Publishers Clearing House. He gave his badge number. Is this a real person?

J.S.

Answer: NO. “Winners are never notified by phone,” Publishers Clearing House says emphatically on its website. “We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again, there’s only ONE way you’ll know if you’ve won a major prize from Publishers Clearing House — and that’s if the Prize Patrol comes to your home and hands you a Big Check.”

If you do get a phone call from someone claiming you’ve won a major prize with PCH, the company says, “it’s a sure-fire sign that you are the victim of a scam.” Another warning sign is that “scammers will almost always ask you to send money to claim your prize.” If you’ve won, the prize is 100 percent free, they say, and they never ask for any money to claim a prize. In addition to phone calls, scammers have also been known to send friend requests claiming to be from PCH on Facebook, or send email, text or private messages, as well as phony letters that may contain fake checks. “All other ways we NEVER communicate with SuperPrize winners,” PCH says.

If you get such a call or other kind of message, you should file a report at pchscamform.skybridgecs.com/view.php?id=12763.

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Email: AskSAM@wsjournal.com

Online: journalnow.com/asksam

Write: Ask SAM, 418 N. Marshall St., Winston-Salem, NC 27101 

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