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For the somewhat Internet savvy

If you’re a senior citizen who took the plunge and began the painful journey of joining the high tech age — meaning that you have an email address, own a computer (or know your way to the library), and have added words like “google,” “operating system,” and maybe even “Kapersky” to your vocabulary — or — if you’re a young ‘un (my own definition of young ‘un includes anybody under 40 who grew up in the emerging world of technology), I hope to enlighten you a little bit more about what’s really going on out there.

Some things never really change. They simply evolve. Scams are not new. They’ve been around since prehistoric times when one hunter would figure out a sneaky way to somehow steal the food, furs or weapons scored by another hunter.

The ultimate goal was survival of the fittest, and “stuff” was what most often made the difference. There was no concept of currency back then. Wealth was in your stockpile of survival goods.

That was an estimated two million years ago.

Now you are no longer keeping up with the Joneses in the cave next door, thanks to communication, globalization and little toys like the Internet. You are keeping up with the Whangs, Kims, Perezes, Cohens, Kims, Al Moussads, Smirnoffs, and more.

Plus now we have currency, instantaneous bank transfers, precious metal depositories, deeds, certificate of deposits, stock portfolios and countless other measures of wealth.

Civilization has transformed from gaining advantage through the stealing of dead animal carcasses — to gaining advantage through the stealing of information. A stranger from halfway around the globe can, instantaneously, steal your wealth. They can OWN YOU. My, how we have evolved.

Those early dudes had their tools; us current folk have ours. The former protected themselves primarily with clubs; the latter (that’s you and me) can now best protect ourselves with knowledge.

Because my mean old editor cuts me off at 500 words, today you have received only a history lesson that leads up to where we are at the moment and to who is trying to steal your meat and tools. (Short answer — everybody!) This will hopefully make you hungry for next week’s column that will center on the technology based frauds that are propelling us into a “He Who Has The Strongest Computer Toys Wins” age. This is the time that your own best tool is, indeed, knowledge. I’ll tell you some of the tricks coming from the “dark side” and how you can best protect yourselves.

Stay tuned to this page.

Drop by the Pahrump Valley Times offices, 2160 E. Calvada Blvd., for a copy of Leslie Kim’s latest book “123 Main Street … the Scamming of America.” Only $19.95 while supplies last.

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