Green River Star -

Our View: Beware of scams

 

December 6, 2017



During the last few weeks, a number of our city’s residents have been hit by sneaky scammers.

These scammers are the lowest of the low, preying upon vulnerable people in an attempt for an easy score. The tactics they use are varied, with residents reporting people calling about computer viruses, missed court dates, unexpected lottery winnings, as well as a myriad of other stories and claims. These scams can catch even the most guarded person unaware with the right application. They’ve become much more sophisticated than the stereotypical Nigerian prince seeking a place to hold his money.

Unfortunately, the Green River Police Department and the Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office has limited resources to catch these grifters as they’re usually located in foreign countries where they have very limited, if not any, means of tracking them down. It isn’t for a lack of trying, as many within law enforcement would like to end scammers’ ability to fleece their targets and bring them to justice. However, the jurisdictional authority simply isn’t available to them.

With that in mind, we’re encouraging residents to be much more guarded with their personal information. Anyone receiving an email or phone call regarding a sudden, life changing opportunity should immediately begin to question the likelihood of the claims they’re being told. When it comes to emails asking for personal information from legitimate-looking websites, residents should be aware that Paypal, Amazon and other major retailers won’t seek that information by contacting their customers. They should have that information readily available as a result of their customers using their services. In regards to scams where residents are contacted to provide payment or face being arrested, officers or deputies won’t call a person seeking payment for a fine over the phone.

Another major red flag to look out for is a request for payment in reloadable gift cards. No one with a legitimate business will ask for that kind of payment. When in doubt, contact the police department or the company a person claims to represent.

For those who have been swindled, we realize it can be hard to come forward because of the shame that a person can feel after being taken advantage of. However, it’s important for people to make these incidents known so local law enforcement has an idea of what types of scams are being circulated throughout the area so others can know the scam ahead of time.

While we would like to see Green River’s residents not the target of scams, the reality is they likely won’t go away.

However, by keeping a cool head and asking a few questions, residents can make Green River a tougher place to scam.

 

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