The Risks of NAFTAIt seems that every few days the editors...


September 27, 1993

The Risks of NAFTA

It seems that every few days the editors of The Sun feel compelled to promote the North American Free Trade Agreement to a skeptical public.

The claim that NAFTA will, through "free trade," create more jobs in the United States than it destroys is made with no empirical evidence that this is true.

My father worked for Bendix for decades. He was rewarded over the years for many money-saving suggestions. His final reward was to lose his job when the company moved to a state in the southern United States, seeking lower-wage employees.

He eventually landed a job with General Electric in Columbia. They spoke of their wonderful plans for Appliance Park East. However, when the tax breaks were gone, so were those thousand of jobs.

My mother worked for Fawn Plastics, Timonium, for many years. It was hot, hard work at injection molding machines. Her reward was to lose her job as her employer fled to the southern U.S., seeking lower paid, non-union workers. (She worked until retiring in the lower-paid service sector).

The defenders of NAFTA seem unconcerned with the destruction of our industrial base. We are told by the supporters of NAFTA that it will be good for agricultural interests in Maryland.

Over the past couple of years, The Sun has reported how independent poultry farmers on the Eastern Shore are being squeezed out of business by the large conglomerates. It is the large agribusiness conglomerates that will profit from NAFTA. And as they do, hundreds of thousands of Mexican farmers will be forced from their farms. They will seek work at any wage in factories that used to employ American citizens.

I have already seen how companies in Maryland will flee for the chance to pay lower wages. Mexico, after NAFTA, will be a dream come true for them.

Ed Custer


Beware of Telephone Con Men

On a Saturday afternoon I received a phone call from a person claiming to be an AT&T security representative, Number 43 named John.

He asked for me by name and questioned me if I had used my long distance carrier within the last week. I answered "No." He asked if I had called overseas recently? I again said "No" and questioned him, "What is this all about?"

John stated that he believes that someone had gained access to account via computer hacking. He stated that he is currently investigating this situation.

He stated that I owed $569.62 and that someone is currently using my account access code on a pay phone in Georgia.

He asked if I had authorized anyone, or had I given my account number to anyone recently? He said it in such a way that put me on the defensive.

He continued by drilling me with questions on who I called and where I called. I began to question him and assured him that I knew nothing of what was going on.

He was quick with factual, vague answers and switched back to asking questions. I told him to go ahead and cancel my telephone credit card accounts. He said no problem. All he needed was my last four numbers to verify and cancel the accounts. He was asking for my Personal Identification Number (PIN) without referring to it.

At this point, I strongly suspected that this was a scam. I proceeded to tell him that I was not going to give him my PIN. He quickly responded, "Do you realize that telephone fraud is a federal offense?" I responded, "It sure is!"

He continued, "Look, we could do this two ways. We could bill you or we could handle it right here on the phone." I told him I would prefer to handle it on the phone but I will not give him my PIN . . .

I decided to get all the information on him and refused to give him any more information. I continued to ask such questions as, "What's your full name? What's your phone number? Where can I reach you? Who is your supervisor and what is your address?" I heard a sigh and then dial tone.

I called the local phone company to cancel all my phone credit cards. The customer service representative asked why, and I started to tell him.

Then he blurted out, "Not him again! I get four to five phone calls a week on this guy. You would not believe how many folks give their PIN numbers over the phone to this clown."

I had notified the local telephone company, but is that enough? This guy was not going to stop with my call. He most assuredly had called many others and is still running the scam.

What else could I do? Had I remembered the code for Call Trace, I may have given the authorities something more to go on.

Never give out your PIN number, credit card number and other personal information over the phone.

Even though you may not be on a cellular/cordless telephone, the other party you are talking with may be on one of these types of phones.

Criminals ranging from gangs to the drug cartel are known to be monitoring cellular and cordless telephone conversations using scanners and receivers.

Raymond J. Miller



Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.