Sheriff Shane Doyle has released the following message regarding potential scams that often appear during this time of the year:
The Christmas season is upon us, and that means celebration, parties, gift-giving, and shopping for the next month. Unfortunately, that also means that scammers are lurking around every corner, hoping to take advantage of people's good nature and giving spirit. The Edmonson County Sheriff's Office would like to give some advice on how to recognize and avoid scams as we get ready for the celebration of the holidays.
First, understand that scammers are getting more and more creative, and are using multiple avenues to reach people. Between emails, phone calls, and Facebook or other social media, these scammers are trying to cheat you out of all of your hard-earned money. Here are some signs to watch for:
Email: If you don't recognize the name of the sender, don't even open the message. These emails usually promise some sort of inheritance, or large international gift. Immediately place these messages in your junk mail folder and don't give it another thought. Also, people are setting up emails and web pages that look very similar to companies such as Amazon, WalMart, or other retailers. If you get a message asking you to verify some information, or asking for personal info, DO NOT CLICK THE LINK THEY GIVE YOU. Go to the website in your web browser and type in that company's website, and log in using your login info. If they need something, they'll let you know that way.
Phone calls: These can vary from people impersonating a government agency (FBI, IRS, or even local), and can show up appearing as a local number. These scammers use computers to make these calls and can input any local area code to look more believable. Usually, these callers will have a thick accent, but not always. Hang up immediately. The same goes for any text message from a number you don't know. Delete them and do not reply.
Social Media: These scams usually start by the scammer "spoofing", or impersonating someone who is already on your friends list. They make new profiles, with someone's name and current profile picture, then send you a private message asking if "you've heard the good news" or something similar. They then try to get you to contact an "agent" to discuss large grants or gifts, and ask you to pay a transfer fee to get your money. They may even mention another person on your friends list, and copy that info as well. One local resident received messages from friends and local business owners (all of which were from fake accounts) and almost fell victim.
If you think someone may be trying to scam you, always trust your gut. Hang up, delete and block the messages, and if you have further questions, we are happy to give advice.
Merry Christmas from Edmonson County Sheriff Shane A. Doyle.