Got a Minute: ‘Tis the season for scams

The holiday season will arrive soon and so will the crooks trying to take advantage of people, especially the elderly.

Posted on 10/19/13

By Lee Coleman

These crooks will use every means available to them to obtain your personal information and access your accounts and essentially steal your money and identity.

The scary part is, these crooks don’t care one thing for you and I and in the process, they don’t care who they hurt or how bad they hurt someone.

Remember, banks and legitimate credit card companies will never call you and request personal information from you.

The crooks will.

The bad guys will try and disguise their malicious activity and convince you they are the greatest people on the face of the earth.

Not to mention the best thing on four wheels since chocolate milk.

Last week, a reader brought me this letter from Coast Capital Financial Services in Los Angeles stating they had won $355,000.

A check was drawn on a fictitious account from a company called Evergreene in New York City in the amount of $4,650.

The letter said this amount was sent early to help the grand prize winner pay a processing fee of $3, 850 back to the company before they received their check for the grand prize.

Here’s the catch. The check was bogus and if a bank allowed the deposit of the check, it would bounce against your account while the crooks would take the $3,850 you wired for the processing fee and laugh all the way to the bank after leaving you holding the bag at your bank.

There were a couple of things that stood out about this letter. There were a lot of writing errors and it was obvious the writer did not have any command of the English language.

The reader played along with this scam and called the number he was given and was told to call back after he had wired the $3,850.

He called back and told the crooks on the other end of the call that his bank told him the check was no good.

They immediately hung up the phone on him.

The Cavalier County Sheriff’s Department asked me to let people know if they receive something like this or any other type of scam, bring it to the sheriff’s office and if the sheriff gets numerous reports of the same scam, they will launch an investigation.

If you are not sure about something you receive, take it to your bank and have bank officials review it with you.

Just remember, these crooks will try to trick you anyway they can.

An ounce of caution can be an ounce of prevention, Get other people involved in reviewing the situation.

These crooks thrive on the weak and vulnerable.

Coleman is the editor of the Republican and can be contacted at republicannews@countrymedia.net.