Credit reports offer peace of mind

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By James Roberts

I'll admit, I was a little worried. The cell phone call came at 4:30 Friday afternoon. A robotic voice told me of a problem with my Taylor County Bank card and that I should call back to sort out the problem.

I didn't think much about that first call. After all, I don't have a Taylor County Bank card. Still, stories of identity theft began circling around my brain. The thought of someone taking advantage of my limited financial resources for their own gain has been a long held fear of mine.

All too often, though, I laugh off that fear. "Why would anyone steal my identity?" I'd ask myself. "Why would they want to lower themselves to my status?"

Then the second call came. This time it was to my home phone. It was the same automated message. That little touch of fear became full-blown panic. I made a mad dash for my home office, flipped on the computer and began checking my accounts. I breathed a sigh of relief to find everything was in order.

Then my wife got the call on her cell phone. By Monday, it was well known that the whole thing was a scam. Taylor County Bank was as much a victim as those who got the call. However, by that time, I'd gotten a copy of my credit report and spent the weekend making calls.

While this turned out to be a false alarm, it did drive home the importance of keeping current with your own finances. Computers and Internet may well increase the opportunities for identity thieves, but it also provides us with immediate access to our banking and credit card transactions. More importantly, our credit reports are really just a few mouse clicks away. We should all take advantage of these tools to protect ourselves.

Committee to revisit smoking issue

City Councilman David Nunery tells me that the City Council-appointed smoking committee will reconvene soon to revisit a smoking ban in public places.

In this very space in December, I straddled the fence on the issue. I don't smoke and would prefer no one smoke in my vicinity, but I have problems with the fact that we were looking to ban one unhealthy habit, while implementing another - alcohol.

I didn't think the City should even be the body to address the issue. The Lake Cumberland Health Board, I felt, would be the ideal group to pass a smoking ban. And, when the Board of Health asked the many health departments it oversees to rule on the issue, I was a happy camper. After all, this is the Health Board, right? A group concerned about the health and well being of the people.

Few things could be more detrimental to public health than secondhand smoke. Nevermind asthma. Secondhand smoke causes cancer. But, in some odd Twilight Zone-style twist, the Board opted not to vote in favor of public health. It didn't pass a smoking ban.

Now, I didn't attend the meeting. I don't know the reasons behind their decision. But what more do I need to know? A board charged with the health of a region opted not to pass a measure that would improve our health. Campbellsville City Council's smoking committee seems a bit more committed to the issue, it appears.

So, perhaps I was wrong. Maybe the City Council is the perfect group to implement a smoking ban. At least they seem to be concerned with public health.