Q: I was recently traveling east on I-40 between Clemmons and Winston-Salem and saw an officer for the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Department standing under a bridge with a radar checking speeds. My guess is he was radioing ahead to fellow officers on the other side of the hill as to which cars were speeding. Is it safe for an officer to be out of his car, standing next to a busy interstate with cars flying by?

M.S.

Answer: “As we all know, at least those that travel on the interstates in our county, there is an abundance of speeding and reckless driving on those interstates regularly,” said Capt. Pete Shutt, field services division commander for the sheriff’s office. “I have found myself on this exact stretch of interstate on a day off, in my personal vehicle, wishing there was a law enforcement presence to address the reckless manner in which some folks choose to drive.”

The Sheriff’s Office is aware of the traffic problems and violations in those areas, Shutt said, and they make every effort to curb those violations.

“We have to use innovative tactics to stop those who are speeding and driving carelessly, which does place our deputies in harm’s way,” he said. “This duty is something that every deputy understands and is willing to accept for the greater good and safety of our citizens. Please trust that our deputies, while still human, approach every situation or environment with the safety of both our citizens and themselves in mind.”

Shutt added that he appreciated the concern you showed for their deputies.

Q: I received a call from someone claiming to be from DirecTV. They said there was a change in frequency and I would need an update costing me $99, but that would entitle me to $30 off my bill for the next two years. I told the guy I thought it was a scam and he hung up on me.

M.H.

Answer: Your instincts were good; that is indeed a scam, according to Ann L. Elsas, lead public relations manager in the Southeast for AT&T Global Media Relations. This is a scam in which “a fraudster tries to gain your confidence by convincing you they are something they are not, in order to get personal information from you.”

They can claim to be a friend or family member in trouble; a company either threatening to shut down a service, offer a great discount, or verify account information; or a collection agent working on behalf of the government or a company.

Always be skeptical of such calls. “If you think it’s a scam, hang up or delete the message,” AT&T recommends. “Don’t try to outsmart the bad guy by intentionally giving out wrong information. ... If you want to see if it was a real call or offer, contact the company by using information published on the real company website.”

Also, do not click on a link provided by an email or text message, which may take you to a fake website. You can read more about this and how to report a suspected scam at about.att.com/pages/cyberaware/ae/se or you can call AT&T’s fraud department at 800-337-5373 to report the incident.

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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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