Valdosta Daily Times

What We Think

October 25, 2013

The diversity of scams

VALDOSTA — Seems folks wouldn’t need any more warnings about phone, email or Internet scams. At the same time, as our society becomes more technologically savvy, we still fall for the human temptations of something for nothing and deals that really are too good to be true.

In the past, people regularly received emails from a sender claiming to be an exiled prince who would gladly share his treasure upon the restoration of his kingdom as long as the email recipient would only send him a few thousand dollars or allow him access to bank accounts. These emails became so ubiquitous that everyone soon recognized them as a scam.

So, the scam artists have become more diverse.

In recent weeks, area folks sent money via an Internet ad to purchase a Harley-Davidson; both cases were taken for a ride but neither one received a motorcycle.

Another scam has recipients receiving emails claiming to be from a friend who has been robbed and is now trapped in a foreign country. These scams play upon people's generosity and wish to help a friend in need. But scam artists are helping themselves to the hard-earned cash of well-meaning people.

Then there are the scams that rely on fear and intimidation. A person receives an email that a bank account is dangerously overdrawn – this one often tips its own hand as it is often from a bank where the recipient has no account.

Then there are the types of calls which an Echols County woman received earlier this week. The caller claimed to be an IRS agent wanting money now or the Echols woman could expect police at her door. Luckily instead of giving the caller access to her money, she called law-enforcement. Another scam revealed. Another scam thwarted ... this time.

To avoid scams, never give bank account numbers to strangers over the phone, through email or in the Internet. Beware to whom you send money for large online purchases. Whenever in doubt, ignore the offer completely or call law-enforcement.

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