• Last modified 2954 days ago (July 21, 2011)


Scammers are at it ... again

Thieves must spend an incredible amount of energy to figure out how to bilk people out of money.

Such was the case when we received an e-mail Monday at the Record office supposedly from someone in the community.

It was a message that we’ve seen before: “I’m on a trip. Somebody stole my bags. I have no passport, no money. Please help me by sending money to me.”

Other messages in the past have been from “grandchildren” to older residents claiming to be in trouble with the police and they need money to bail out of jail or pay an attorney’s fee.

For the heck of it, we responded to the e-mail we received Monday and the thief gave us an address to send the money. We have turned all of this information over to the Marion Police Department.

I called the victim Monday at home. He was already aware of it. I was told that the hacker had deleted his address book, making it difficult for him to send a blanket message to friends and family about the scam.

I have always thought it was such a shame for people to spend so much time and energy on duping people when that same time and energy could be spent doing something productive. People like this are typically smart and inventive but would rather fool people into giving them money instead of making an honest living.

Here are a few precautions: If in doubt, call. Call the family member or friend directly to find out if he or she really is in trouble. If you get a call from someone claiming to be family and he or she doesn’t “sound right,” follow your gut instinct. Follow up before you give any money or information.

It’s too bad when we have to be suspicious of everyone, including those who claim to be someone we are close to but we need to be vigilant in protecting ourselves from these scammers.

Phone calls and e-mails can be from anyone.

Do not send any money or give bank or credit card information to someone unless you are absolutely certain you know them.

— susan berg

Last modified July 21, 2011