Technical Difficulties 29 March 2023

Tidelines is experiencing issues with delivery of our email subscriptions. We are working on a solution and hope to have it resolved quickly. In the meantime, remember that posts publish on the Tidelines website at the same time that they are emailed to subscribers. You can always check the website if you don’t receive your email subscription. When using the website, scroll down to see what’s been published since our email outage.

Tidelines Editors

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Ham Radio Class on SI

The Charleston Amateur Radio Society is presenting a two-day class to obtain an FCC license to operate the HAM radios that the Seabrook Island CERT Team and the Town of Seabrook Island use for emergency communications.

The class will be given on March 25 from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm and March 26 from 8:00 am to 3:00 pm at the Seabrook Island Oyster Catcher Community Center. Once you pass a 35-question test given a 1:00 pm on March 26, the FCC will issue a 10-year Technician License for a fee of $35.

The class is open to the public.
There is no charge for the course or test.

Registration is required.
Deadline: Tuesday, March 21, 1 1:59 pm
Click here for more information and to register online.

-Submitted by Max Willis

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Stop the Scam

From the Social Security Administration:
On National Slam the Scam Day and throughout the year, we give you the tools to recognize Social Security-related scams and stop scammers from stealing your money and personal information. Share scam information with your loved ones. Slam the Scam!

Recognize the four basic signs of a scam:

  1. Scammers pretend to be from a familiar organization or agency, like the Social Security Administration. They may email attachments with official-looking logos, seals, signatures, or pictures of employee credentials.
  2. Scammers mention a problem or a prize. They may say your Social Security number was involved in a crime or ask for personal information to process a benefit increase.
  3. Scammers pressure you to act immediately. They may threaten you with arrest or legal action.
  4. Scammers tell you to pay using a gift card, prepaid debit card, cryptocurrency, wire or money transfer, or by mailing cash. They may also tell you to transfer your money to a “safe” account.

Ignore scammers and report criminal behavior. Report Social Security-related scams to the SSA Office of the Inspector General (OIG).

Report a Scam

Visit for more information and follow SSA OIG on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn to stay up to date on the latest scam tactics. Repost #SlamtheScam information on social media to keep your friends and family safe.

Tidelines Editors for Social Security Administration

(Image credit SSA)

Tidelines Technical Difficulties Jan 2023

On Monday, January 30, 2023, Tidelines editors learned that some of our subscribers have not received emailed Tidelines posts since Friday, January 27. We contacted WordPress, our website host, and they are working to correct the problem. Although two posts went out as scheduled Tuesday, January 31, we are still experiencing some email issues. We apologize for the inconvenience.

This could be a good time for subscribers to explore our website,, for access to our posts. Each post appears there as it is published, most appearing at 6:00 am. The posts that we publish relating to special traffic, weather, or emergency alerts appear there as well.

On the website, you will find the most current posts are at the top and you can scroll down to see the other posts in the order they were originally published. The Search feature allows you to search for Tidelines articles by title or topic.

We look forward to resolving the email issues soon. Thank you for understanding and for your support.

Tidelines Editors

Be Aware of Scams During the Holidays

The holidays are a busy time filled with tasks to be completed, people to visit, and goodwill to share but there are bad actors who use the holidays to take advantage of people’s generous spirits. That’s why it is important to be on the alert for scams. 

How do you identify a scammer?

Recognizing the signs of a scam can help you avoid falling victim to one. Scammers resort to many means to contact you. They use telephone calls, email, text messages, social media, and U.S. mail. Scammers may:

  • Pretend to be from an agency or organization you know to gain your trust;
  • Say there is a problem with your Social Security number or other type account;
  • Pressure you to act immediately; 
  • Tell you to pay in a specific way (ex. retail gift cards, pre-paid debit cards);
  • Frighten you or threaten you with a consequence;
  • Trick you into clicking onto malicious links or attachments.

How can you protect yourself if you receive a suspicious call, text, or email?

  • Filter your calls and don’t answer or return calls if you don’t recognize the caller. If you do answer and are suspicious, hang up the phone.;
  • Only open emails, respond to text messages, voice mails, or callers that are from people or organizations you know, and even then, be cautious if they look questionable;
  • Do not give money or disclose personal information;
  • Be especially wary of emails or websites that have typos or other obvious mistakes. Delete suspicious emails and texts, and do not click on any links.

What are the resources for reporting scams?

  • If you encounter a suspected phone scam or an abusive telemarketer, file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, online or at 877-382-4357, and notify your state consumer protection office;
  • Report caller-ID spoofing to the Federal Communications Commission, online or at 888-225-5322. The FCC also provides consumer guides to numerous phone scams and improper practices;
  • Visit the Do Not Call Registry website or call 888-382-1222 to register your number or report illegal robocalls.

Be sure to keep yourself safe from scams this holiday season. For more information about the types of scams that occur and what you can do to protect yourself, visit the websites of the Social Security AdministrationFederal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and/or American Association of Retired Persons (AARP). 

Tidelines Editors

Sources: Social Security AdministrationFederal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and American Association of Retired Persons (AARP)

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Cybersecurity in an Online World June 2

Cybersecurity: How to Protect Yourself in an Online World

Have you or someone you know been the victim of an online scam?
Do you know how to identify a scam?
How can you avoid being a victim?

Seabrook Island Village (SIV) offers another free workshop for the community.

  • Date:           Thursday, June 2, 2022
  • Time:          4:00 pm
  • Place:          Oyster Catcher Community Center

Space is limited and registration is required. Click here or call 843-580-208.

Chad Droze, an Information Technology (IT) consultant, has been servicing homes and businesses on Seabrook Island for over 15 years at the Post & Computer Center in Freshfields Village. His presentation will address how to protect yourself online against the latest scams that hackers attempt every day on unsuspecting victims. Plan to join us so you can:

  • Learn the sneaky ways and methods that crooks use to lure you into a false sense of security.
  • Hear about real life hacking examples that have happened to Chad’s customers.
  • Listen to why cyber-crime is so lucrative for the hackers who perform them. 
  • Learn tips to protect yourself online. 

-Submitted by Seabrook Island Village-Neighbors Helping Neighbors

Beware Text Message Scams

The holiday season is upon us and so are the holiday scams. It is likely with online holiday shopping that you’ve received a text giving you shipment information. Scammers are using text messages with fake shipment tracking numbers and a link to verify shipping instructions. If you receive a text like the one below, do not click on the link! The link goes to a fake shipping company or a phishing website. Data is collected that is then used by the scammers.

Tip: If you get an unexpected text message, don’t click on any links. If you think it could be legit, contact the company using a website or phone number you know is real. Don’t use the information in the text message.

See this article from the Federal Trade Commission on How to Recognize and Report Spam Text Messages.

Tidelines Editors

Spam Alert

Joanne Fagan from COVAR (Council of Villa Associations and Regimes) has just informed Tidelines that their membership list has been hacked.

COVAR members are receiving text messages requesting that money or gift cards be transferred via text message. The text message says something like, “I am in a meeting and can’t do this myself.” The text is signed “John Reynolds” and asks that the receiver be discreet. Some members are getting this text from (914) 206-8094. Neither John Reynolds nor any other COVAR member has sent anything like this.

Please do not open the text and block it, if possible, and then delete it. We have not learned of this problem affecting email but please be alert.

Tidelines Editors

Online Scams on the Rise

Hello, Seabrookers! Hope everyone is having a great summer thus far.

Today’s article is going to focus on a topic that I’ve certainly covered in the past: online phishing scams and fraudulent phone calls. They’ve been around for quite a while, and lately, it seems like every few days I receive a call from a customer telling me they think they have a major problem. In most cases, when the customer tells me what has happened, I see many mistakes and misjudgments made along the way that could have lessened the problem, or quite often prevented the issue altogether.

So today, I just want to share a few tips to drive the point home. Don’t become a victim! Although the victims tend to learn a lot through the process, it’s not fun to have to contact your bank, re-issue credit cards, and change passwords to all of your online accounts. It’s a lot of hard work, and can take days or weeks to finally sort it all out.


When you get a random phone call (and believe me, you will get them), often the person on the other end begins their speech- at least for a few seconds until many of us have already hung up on them. The key to these scams is to have you act so quickly that your intuition doesn’t kick in yet. The scammer sounds like they want to be very helpful (“You didn’t make that $500 charge on Amazon? No problem. I will be glad to help. Don’t you worry!”) but this is just the start of their process. They are trying to set your mind at ease as they walk you through what they want you to do. Many times, it will involve them wanting you to go onto your computer and give them access. They claim they will solve the problem.

When a customer asks me, “How did they get into my system?” my simple answer is “YOU LET THEM IN!” They can’t do anything until you grant them access.

During all of this, from the scammer’s point of view, time is of the essence. The longer it takes, the more suspicious you may become. They want you to act quickly. If you just slow down, think about the situation, give your gut feeling time to kick in, stop, call a friend or family member, just about anything other than what they are asking, more likely than not you can avoid these problems.


So, what if you hang up, but still wonder if the call was real or not? Then put your mind at ease and call the company yourself. Yes, it may take some time out of your day, but in the end, you will speak with a legit employee of the company. You can inform them you were just called by them, got concerned, and want to check your account for any suspicious activity. Credit card companies, banks, and online shopping companies have fraud departments that can tell you exactly the status of your account.

Do not look up telephone numbers to call on Google. Scammers can purchase the top listings on Google that may promise you help and can publicize telephone numbers that just link back to the bad guys. Always visit the official website of the company, look at the bottom of the page for a “Contact Us” page, and look for a phone number there. For credit cards, the number to call is usually written on the back of the card itself. And when you find the real number, store it in your phone to call in the future.


This isn’t so bad for tablets and smartphones, but computers are very useful tools for bad guys to begin their scams. Most of the time, it could start with a phishing-email (an email that is intended to look like a legitimate email from a well-known company), or maybe you are surfing the web, looking up information, and all of a sudden a pop-up appears.  Sometimes the text and graphics on the pop-up will be very alarming:

If this happens, try to exit the page. Look for an X in the top corner. Back away if at all possible. If you have to, fully turn off your computer. Just make sure not to click any link on the pop-up, or certainly do not call the phone number. This is NOT MICROSOFT. This is NOT APPLE. After turning off your computer, wait a few minutes and turn it back on. Think about what you were doing just before the fake warning came up. Perhaps that website was infected. In that case, avoid that website. Look for any new icons that weren’t there before. If you shut down quickly, most of the time you can avoid any major problems. If you have any suspicion that something isn’t right, turn off your computer and keep it off until someone you know and trust can run a virus or malware scan on the computer to ensure it is clean.

Not all messages that appear are bad. Microsoft and Apple often use pop-up notifications to inform you about important updates. Get to know what these look like. If you aren’t sure, it’s best to defer them until a later date (or at least until you have time to ask a computer professional if it’s real or not). I tell customers all the time to grab your telephone and take a photo of the message. An IT person can tell you right away if the message is legit or not.


Be extra sensitive if someone is asking you to go buy gift cards. Since gift cards are in virtually every grocery store, scammers know that their victims are just a few miles away from a store that carries lots of instant e-cash, and if they are successful in tricking their victim into buying a gift card, that money would be instantly theirs with almost no recourse to get your money back.

I’ve heard of scammers on the phone with some of my customers who were afraid to give them their credit card over the phone. When the scammer offered to accept a gift card as another option, they felt that was ok, so off to the grocery store they went. Another common strategy is to receive a random email from a “friend” who is asking for a gift card to purchase for their grandchildren’s birthday, and that the “friend” will pay them back as soon as possible. NO! NO! NO!

This is just the tip of the iceberg of how crooks try to con people into giving up their information for financial gain. Be careful out there! The internet is the electronic version of the Wild, Wild West.  Every man and woman for themselves!

-Chad Droze, Guest Columnist
Post & Computer Center – Freshfields Village

(Image credit: pixabay, quoteinspector and Public Domain Pictures)

Update iPhones and iPads Now

A number of news sources are reporting that Apple users need to update iPhones and iPads with the latest software, version 14.4. Apple identified two security threats that have been fixed with the latest update. For more information, see the news stories in Forbes and CBS News as well as Apple‘s report.

In most cases, to update, go to
Software Update

The update will take a few minutes to download and the device will power down.

Tidelines Editors

(Imgae credit:


Tech Notes: 2021 Tech Predictions

Happy New Year, Seabrookers!

As we enter the new year, we find ourselves faced with many of the same challenges that we faced in 2020. With many of us staying home more these days, technology is playing a big part in our daily lives more so now than ever before.

I thought I would start the new year by writing down my thoughts and predictions in the world of tech for 2021.

Streaming Services Will Continue to Expand in 2021
2020 was certainly the year that streaming TV and movies really took off. And what great timing for these companies to exist in the middle of a global pandemic where people were stuck at home looking for entertainment options. 2020 saw the rise of Disney’s new streaming service Disney+, in addition to NBC introducing their streaming service, Peacock. Netflix and Amazon Prime continue to be the heavy hitters in the streaming world, and they will look to continue their dominance in 2021.

This year has already seen the addition of a new streaming platform, (Discovery+), as well as CBS All-Access’s upcoming rebrand of their streaming service to Paramount+.

We are now at a point in technology where many of us have to take notice of all the streaming platforms that we are paying for and subscribing to. For years, we hoped to be able to choose our cable TV channels in an à la carte fashion. While we are now able to do that, with that ability comes a lot of separate logins and payments that could quickly add up to be confusing and more expensive than traditional cable ever was. Continue reading “Tech Notes: 2021 Tech Predictions”

iPhone Battery Issues Again

iPhone and iPad users are again reporting problems with abnormal battery drain, particularly in iPhones.

Though some thought the problem was the new iPhone 12, it seems to be the latest iOS 14.2 update that has affected many other Apple devices. An article published in iDrop News on December 7, 2020, sheds some light on the issue. To read it, click here.

Tidelines Editors

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