Bill Moeller Commentary: Scammers Had My Number


I got scammed a week or so ago. And it was all because of my vanity.

I’d received an email from someone with a feminine name and I had assumed she was a sensible reader.

The message was brief, saying something along the lines of, “What you wrote five years ago is still effective today.”

Those weren’t the actual words, but I responded by emailing “her” back, thanking “her” and asking “her” to remind me exactly what I had written? 

Then — as I started opening the rest of that morning’s emails — I discovered the exact same message to me, but from a different source. That’s when I knew the messages were a scam to get me to respond, after which they could claim that I had just ordered something and that they expected a payment for the order.

It wasn’t long before I received a bill for $349.99 for — apparently — some sort of service by a company called “GeekSquad Premium Security.” 

The notice informed me that the charge would appear on my bank account “in the next 24 hours.”

Fortunately, I’ve signed up for an annual tech service with a gentleman who knows infinitely more about such things than I do. He confirmed that it was, indeed, an attempt to squeeze money from someone who is likely to be a tottering old fool. He told me to ignore it.

But, in the back of my mind, now I can’t stop wondering how the fraudulent “GeekSquad” knew that I was a writer of such things as were mentioned in the original email?

If there are any further attempts on my bank account, I’ll certainly let you know.

Meanwhile, life goes on.

I’m just as “irritated” at our spring weather as you are. The weather made me late in planting my gladiola bulbs and I could feel that many of them didn’t survive the extended storage in my laundry shed over the winter.

Acting like an optimist to the very end, I put them into the ground anyway. My annual double row of peas looks as if it will be the best ever and should fill several small packages in the freezer. My one rhubarb plant outdid itself and has already provided the makings for the first pie of 2022, a couple of samples of which have been set aside in the freezer and I can expect to be able to follow that with another before it’s put to sleep for the winter.

A disappointment so far is that only three of the 18 starter cups in which I planted acorn squash seeds in March have shown any signs of life, but they do take a long time to germinate.

There are times when writers of treatises such as this find themselves at the end of their thoughts on a particular subject but with too much blank space left over.

This is solved by a process known to us as “padding.”

As an example, I came across an article that intrigued me. I had taken it from an old edition of the Olympia newspaper. I had completed the column I intended to use, but on Saturday night and Sunday morning, I started feeling punk.

My temperature was trying to settle at around 100 degrees. Sunday morning was no better. My son Matthew visited me at about noon on Sunday as he usually does, but I didn’t feel any better. The unanimous decision was to go to the hospital emergency room and see if they could find anything wrong.

To make it short, it didn’t take too much time before I was told that I was a victim of COVID-19.

Wait a minute! I had received both shots for it and also a followup. I couldn’t have it.  I was wrong. I’ll close this down for today but you can bet I’ll have more on the subject next week.


Bill Moeller is a former entertainer, mayor, bookstore owner, city council member, paratrooper and pilot living in Centralia. He can be reached at