Community members: beware of scams from several outlets

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Scams can come in many forms, either through email, phone calls, door-to-door salesmen and even social media. How do you identify a scam? Long story short, if it sounds too good to be true, it most likely is. Other dead giveaways include the caller asking you to give them money in order for you to receive your prize.

Keep this in mind when a caller makes this request, anytime someone wins the lottery, they are never asked for money up front. Any taxes or fees are always taken from the winnings, long before the winner receives a check. One of the most prominent scams local residents have reported in recent years involves callers from overseas saying our resident has won a prize, or wants to invest their money with a person in America.

Other scams include a local resident being sent an unsolicited check for hundreds or thousands of dollars, with the sender requesting just a portion be sent back to them, also overseas. The problem with that scam is if the unsuspecting victim deposits the check and sends the requested portion of money back overseas via a money order they will later fi nd the check bounced. What they were essentially tricked into doing was sending their own money to the scammer. Money orders are not traceable and can not be refunded.

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We warn Pearl River County residents to be wary of anyone wanting to give away money or any other unsolicited prize, especially if they want something first. If you feel it is a legitimate prize, take some time to research the company, call them back and ask for more information.

And most of all don’t forget to do a search on the Internet to see if anyone else reports a scam that sounds just like the one someone is trying to pull on you. If they keep calling, say you will report them to the police. Most of the time the scammer will hang up.