EAGLE RIVER - If your credit card company called to verify your account information, would you give it out? That's what scammers hope, and that's what they tried in Eagle River recently.
Joe Kuczala answered his cell phone the other day, and heard a recorded message from "Visa Card" about problems with his account.
"All of your online and phone privileges have been declined right now,” said Kuczala, recalling the message, “In order to get that back online, please start entering your information so that we can verify your card," is how he remembered it.
Thankfully Joe did not enter his card number; instead he entered all zeross to see what would happen.
"At the end it says, thank you you're reactivated,” said Kuczala with a laugh,” So then I hung up from there, looked at the caller ID and called that number back."
That call went to another voice message, this one for the Roxbury New Jersey Town Hall. They said they'd gotten many calls from people about the scam, and somehow they're phone line had been hacked.
The Vilas County Sheriff's Office says, just hang up if you get one of these calls, and DON'T enter any of your information.
EAGLE RIVER - Snowmobile trails open at 6 p.m. in most of Vilas County.
Local businesses that cater to snowmobilers look forward to a successful season.
The trails already have a lot more snow than they did last year at this time.
"Anytime you bring people to the Northwoods, whether it's just the snowmobilers, it's not only helping our business, it helps everybody. They bring family up so they'll go to the Children's Museum, or the downtown and restaraunts. They utilize all the area businesses," said Greg Cook from Track Side in Eagle River.
ACROSS WISCONSIN - Gov. Scott Walker has signed into law a Republican-sponsored bill that gives landlords more power over tenants.
The bill Walker signed privately Thursday allows landlords to dispose of any property an evicted tenant leaves behind, immediately tow parked vehicles and toss tenants out if a crime occurs on the property and the tenant was in a position to prevent it.
Democrats who opposed the measure argued that it strips tenants of their rights and limits local governments' control over property in their jurisdiction.
The bill was opposed by the Wisconsin Coalition Against Domestic Violence, the cities of Milwaukee and Madison as well as the League of Wisconsin Municipalities and others.
RHINELANDER - When you’re celebrating the holidays that often means drinking.
Because of that, there are more alcohol-related accidents and deaths this time of year.
But the Oneida County Sheriff’s office wants to prevent as many as accidents as it can.
The Booze and Belts campaign runs through December 21. The campaign is part of the OWI enforcement grant the sheriff's office received in October.
Throughout the campaign, you’ll see three extra squads on patrol looking out for drunk drivers and people who are not wearing their seat belts.
Lloyd Gauthier, Oneida County Patrol lieutenant, says it's all about making the right choices after you've been drinking.
"We really want people to come and enjoy the holiday season, it's Christmas time here in the Northwoods. Whether it's a family coming to one of the resorts that we have here in the area, or just enjoying the different things that we offer," said Gauthier." "We just want people to make good decisions. And you realize that if you don't make good decision, that can affect other people."
Booze and Belts is a statewide program.
It puts more officers on the streets before the holidays.
The Department of Transportation reports that's when the most accidents happen. Lieutenant Gauthier says your choices can have a range of impact.
Gauthier thinks that's because of early celebrations like office Christmas parties and private gatherings.
"Whether it's a traffic crash where you end up killing someone because you're intoxicated, or you seriously injure somebody else, a family member, or yourself," said Gauthier. "Also driving too fast, with the winter conditions roads can change rapidly."
The Sheriff's department says more officers patrolling for OWI's will keep everyone safe.
The Department of Transportation reports most accidents happen between 7pm and 3am.
Vilas county is also participating in the Booze and Belts campaign.
MADISON - Gov. Scott Walker has signed a bill aimed at curbing underage drinking.
The so-called ``Brown Jug bill'' creates an additional $1,000 fine for those under age 21 who buy or drink alcohol.
The measure gives bars the ability to report underage drinkers to police and then take them to court.
The underage drinker would be required to pay the business owner $1,000 if found guilty. The fine would be in addition to the $250 to $1,000 fine an underage drinker would receive from law enforcement.
The Capital Times (http://bit.ly/1dak7QJ ) reports the Tavern League of Wisconsin is pleased with Walker's decision to sign the bill.
Opponents say fines were already in place for underage drinkers.
The bill is named after an Alaskan bar that had a similar law passed.
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