Scams sour holiday season

Published 8:26 pm Friday, November 18, 2011

The holiday season has arrived. Next week we will celebrate Thanksgiving and catapult into the Christmas season.

The holidays should be a time of joy, cheer and spirited reunions with family members and friends. Unfortunately, there are a number of people who do not bring good tidings.

Already, the Selma Police Department is dealing with calls to investigate phone scams. The callers are telling their potential victims they have won hundreds of thousands of dollars and must only pay taxes to collect their winnings. However, when the money is paid, communication is broken and those who thought they were big winners are left as the loser.

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Many of these scams taget the elderly. They prey mostly upon people who are on a fixed inccome and could certainly use a boost to their checking account.

These criminals have no conscience. They do not care who they hurt. They do not care whose lives they ruin. They want money any way possible and are not afraid to step on anyone.

The best defense against these scams is to check things out before bringing money into the mix. If something sounds too good to  be true, it probably is.

Too often, those who fall victim to these scams don’t ask questions. When they see dollar signs, they simply give the callers what they wannt and file a police report when things don’t work out the way they had planned.

When someone calls your home with “an amazing offer,” don’t be afraid to check things out. There are no stupid questions, especially when large sums of money are involved.

Officers with the Selma Police Department will be more than happy to check out an offer that seems fishy. It’s their job.

This holiday season, don’t let someone thousands of miles away steal your joy. Check out all suspicious calls and offers to make sure you have a Merry Christmas. And, if you receive suspicious calls, be sure to warn others. Odds are they will receive a call in the future.