Always be cautious

By Staff
Melissa Cason
Everybody seems to be targeted for scams these days.
I heard about a recent scam where individuals posing as court officials called residents throughout the country asking to know why they weren't in court.
The callers acted as if they were calling to notify people that they were supposed to be on jury duty.
The callers even asked for Social Security numbers and birthdates as if they were going to check information for the person on the other end of the line,
Instead, what they were trying to do was steal someone's identity.
I was also targeted by a scam artist this week.
I received an email at work from someone in Scotland telling me that somehow I would get a large sum of money if I would only supply my personal and banking information.
OK, I may have sucker written on my forehead because I am a softy when it comes to community involvement but I certainly don't have stupid written there.
When I realized what it was, I immediately took it to the police and asked if someone was really trying to scam me, and the answer was yes.
I could not believe that someone would actually try to scam me using my work email. But, that doesn't even begin to determine how stupid these criminals really are.
The police said they get these types of emails all the time on their police email boxes.
If that isn't stupid, I don't know what is.
Not that there is really anything our local law enforcement can do because the prospective thieves are in another country, but contacting a police station in an attempt to scam money sounds nuts to me.
The problem is that for every person who sees that its a scam, there's someone who doesn't realize what they are, and they fall victim to them.
Recovery from such theft is difficult and often impossible, especially for the elderly. That makes me angry.
I am angry that anyone would take advantage of another person in such a way, and I am angry that little can be done once the theft has occurred because of the origin of the scams.
I encourage everyone not to give out personal and banking information to anyone over the phone or through email.
If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
If I have learned one thing in this life, it is that there is no such thing as a free lunch or anything else for that matter.
I wish something more can be done to stop these scams, and to help elderly or retired victims recover their losses.
The important thing is to report such activity to authorities immediately, even if you have become a victim.
Sometimes it's hard to see scams for what they are, and having extra money coming in your budget probably looks really good right now considering the cost of everything is increasing.
If you are a victim, it's not your fault. The person taking your money is the one to blame, and should be punished. For more information on how to detect scams in your area, contact your local police department, and I am sure they will be more than happy to assist you.

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