T H E S T A B L E S A D I N I NG EXPER I ENCE NO T SOON F ORGO T T EN
THE 2 MOST COMMON WAYS CRIMINALS STEAL FROM SENIORS AND HOW TO SPOT THEM Scamming older adults has become big business. According to the American Journal for Public Health, an estimated 5 percent of seniors are hoodwinked by criminals every year, and that statistic is thought to be a steep underestimate since so many scams go unreported. To stem the tide of seniors unknowingly giving $36 billion to scammers annually, it’s important for retirees and their loved ones to get savvy on the subject. Here are the two of the most common scams older folks fall prey to — and how to avoid them. ADVANCED FEE FRAUD The most common con in 2017 and 2018 was the classic “You’ve won a sweepstakes!” scam. Victims are told they’ve won some exorbitant amount of money, but they must pay a fee to receive the prize. After the “fee” is paid, victims receive a fake check in the mail, but by the time it bounces, the scammers are gone and they’ve taken the money. If you ever receive a contract from an unknown entity out of nowhere, you should start seeing red flags. Unless you remember entering a contest, there is no chance you’ve won something. And it’s vital to understand that it is never safe to give out financial information over the phone or via email. COMPUTER SOFTWARE SERVICE FRAUD This type of scam is slightly more sophisticated. First, a hacker will call a victim and claim to be a member of a tech support team or an employee from a trusted company like Microsoft or Apple. Then, they’ll tell the victim there is a problem with their phone or computer and that if they cooperate with the “tech support” representative, they can sort it out. They may also ask you to install a piece of software on your device or provide credit card information to “validate your software.” The fact is that well-known tech companies will never send unsolicited emails to ask for your personal or financial information, and they definitely won’t ask you to install some shady software on your computer. If you ever receive a call out of the blue from “Microsoft,” hang up the phone immediately. The first step to stopping these criminals in their tracks is to be aware of their tactics. With these tips in your arsenal, you’ll be able to defend yourself and your bank account effectively.
Located in Richmond’s historic museum district, The Stables at Belmont has been serving up elevated new American cuisine in a laid-back neighborhood setting since May 2017. However, I first learned about The Stables a bit before that, when my friend Thad Jackson told me he would soon start work as the sous chef at a new restaurant. Soon after they opened, I stopped in for brunch and
ordered the shrimp and grits with a biscuit on the side. Everything was amazing. From my first bite of what was, without exaggeration, the best biscuit I’ve ever had, I knew I’d be coming back regularly. I recently visited The Stables and spoke with Thad and Executive Chef Evan Campbell about what makes The Stables such a great spot. Evan, a native of the Northeast, describes his approach to cooking as “comfortable Southern fare with a little bit of New England grit.” The menu, which changes regularly, focuses on well- executed, seasonal ingredients, locally sourced produce, and fresh seafood. The goal is to offer high-end dining in an environment where customers feel like they’re among friends. “We have such a close-
knit neighborhood group,” Evan says. “It’s a very interactive, intimate, communal dining experience.” From the many conversations I’ve struck up with other folks sitting at the bar, I would agree. Although the menu changes regularly, several staples always remain. These include popular items like grilled lamb lollipops, cioppino, and the crowd-pleasing “Southern Scallops” served with braised collard greens, crispy herbed polenta, and a bacon beurre. The scallops highlight the collaborative nature of Evan’s and Thad’s cooking: The greens are Evan’s recipe, and the polenta is Thad’s. Owing to Thad’s affinity for smoking and braising meats, the menu also tends to feature one slow-cooked dish. On the winter menu, it was smoked veal short ribs with a bahn mi slaw and Chinese five-spice baguette bread pudding. The menu also features vegetarian and gluten-free options. So no matter what you like to eat, you are bound to find something at The Stables that will leave you wanting more. In addition to the standout food, The Stables also offers an expansive cocktail program run by bartender Elizabeth Nguyen, as well as an ever-changing wine list. Elizabeth incorporates many of the same seasonal ingredients into her drinks that Evan and Thad use in the kitchen. “She is objectively one of the most talented bartenders in Richmond,” Evan says. “She’s just effortlessly creative,” Thad adds.
Hands down, my favorite thing about The Stables is its open kitchen. Sitting at the bar, you can watch Evan and Thad cook from just steps away. This leads to a unique amount of interaction between customer and chef. “It’s fun for us because we get to explain what we’re doing,” Evan says. From the customer’s perspective, the open kitchen offers a rare glimpse into how dishes are made. If you watch closely enough, you might just learn something. Whether you’re just going for a drink and a small plate at the bar or planning a meal out, The Stables is well worth a visit. If you’re like me, the delicious food, creative drinks, and welcoming atmosphere will have you coming back again and again.
- Ben Kyber
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