Ok. My Hometown is Now Email Scamming.


I am not joking. I told y’all last week that Pickens has this proclivity for something absurdly moronic nearly every week. I’m not here to make fun of my hometown (okay, that’s not always true). I am here to make an example of it in hopes that it will do better and in hopes that maybe other communities won’t make these kinds of mistakes. Email is a relatively new technology compared to telephones but it isn’t a new technology in terms of the “interwebs”. This week, the City of Jasper’s Facebook page posted this image with the caption (link to post here):

To which, one person responded to this post, “Maybe you should send this to yourself.” The absolute AUDACITY to post this the week after they themselves fell for an email scam shows a level of no self-awareness I can’t describe. This follows last week’s debacle where the same City got scammed out of $150,000.00 via email over a water agreement with neighboring Cherokee County. You can find my article on that here. At this point, maybe Jasper just doesn’t need to use email anymore. Carrier pigeons or Harry Potter owls seem to be more secure than the City of Jasper’s email inbox or outbox. Also, with water rates being raised 27% which was described in the local paper three weeks ago (April 27, 2023 edition), and who knows whatever other rates might end up being hiked, one would think some more IT training could be afforded. This is especially after the $150,000.00 that was lost was due to a water agreement anyway.

All of this does invite a lot of questions: are City employees required to take any sort of cyber security training? How good actually is the City’s cyber security? Does Jasper even have antivirus software? Do they know what phishing or spear phishing even is? Do y’all know not to click the links? Why is this hard? Many of you don’t know the back story of the current administration or why it is the way it is, but if you have been around Jasper for the last five years, you will understand why the lack of sophistication here (that clearly hasn’t been addressed) is ironic and humorous. After all, the new regime wanted everything to be shiny, new, and sophisticated. Right now, it’s proving itself to be exactly the opposite. While they are pushing for million-dollar public bathrooms on Main Street, it seems that some basic institutional groundwork is being neglected like cyber security, water issues, and knowing where the city lines are (that’s covered in the April 27 edition of the Progress as well because evidently none of the new people at the City know where the city lines are and I wish I were joking.) All of that reminds me of a comedian my mom and dad loved and a joke by him they repeat: “The people who want the Ford Escort GT want all the options but can’t afford the base car.” That seems to be where Jasper is right now. They want all the bells and whistles but they don’t have nor can they afford the base car right now.

One Reply to “Ok. My Hometown is Now Email Scamming.”

  1. I live near the newly-minted City of Mableton. The new mayor (literally sworn in earlier this morning) made a point during his campaign of brandishing his (legitimate, mind you) credentials as a cybersecurity expert, as something that the new city would be able to take advantage of. At first I chuckled, it’s going to be a while before the city would have actually have anything to steal. But then things like this remind me that, alas, it IS a brave new world . . .

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